During what has been described as a productive phone call, Mr Sullivan “appreciated the seriousness with which President Ramaphosa had addressed the concerns about the Lady R’s activities last year,” the White House said.
Despite limited international awareness, the “Lady R” incident, is still not widely known about among the American public nor the broader world, but has led both South Africa and the US to intensify their bilateral cooperation. During a recent conversation, the National Security Advisors from both nations reaffirmed their strong partnership. They underlined their commitment to promoting shared interests encompassing trade, investment, infrastructure, healthcare, and climate concerns.
On Russia, “With regards to Russia’s war in Ukraine, they confirmed they would continue to confer on pathways toward a just and lasting peace,” said the White House.
Mr Sullivan also expressed gratitude to the South African government for hosting the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum in early November, emphasizing the forum’s importance in strengthening US relations with the region.
This phone call follows South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor’s visit to Washington DC on September 26. During her visit, she was warmly welcomed at the US Department of State, engaging in a productive discussion that emphasized the significance of strong cooperation between the two countries on shared interests.
Secretary Blinken highlighted South Africa’s strategic importance and stressed the importance of the meeting considering evolving global dynamics. He expressed eagerness for dialogue with Minister Pandor. Mr Pandor, in return, appreciated Mr Blinken’s time, emphasizing the US’s pivotal role in South Africa and Africa, especially during her discussions with South Africa’s ambassadors in the Americas.
In South Africa, the National Security Advisor plays a critical role as an advisor to the president on national security, foreign policy, and defence matters. This role is vital for maintaining diplomatic relations and addressing security challenges while contributing to the nation’s foreign policy objectives.
The US and South Africa have, in the past, shared a complex diplomatic relationship. During the apartheid era, the US pursued constructive engagement, involving diplomatic pressure to end apartheid and economic ties. After South Africa’s transition to democracy in the early 1990s, relations improved significantly.
Pearl Matibe is a Washington, DC-based White House Correspondent, and media commentator with expertise in U.S. foreign policy and international security. You may follow her on Twitter: @PearlMatibe
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