Pretoria, 29 March 2023 (TDI): Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, Alvin Botes co-chaired the 17th Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) with Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, Elio Rodríguez Perdomo.

The 17th JCM was held in Pretoria on Tuesday, 28 March. In the meeting, both Deputy Foreign Ministers focused on bilateral relations, and regional, multilateral, and international issues of common interest.

They also reaffirmed further expanding the ties between the two countries. Additionally, both Deputy Foreign Ministers renewed commitments to continue with the implementation of the existing agreements in areas.

These include Health; Public Works and Infrastructure; Basic and Higher Education; Arts and Culture; Human Settlements; Science and Innovation; Sports; Trade and Economic Cooperation; Defence and Water and Sanitation.

Notably, the last JCM was held in Havana, Cuba, in July 2022. On that occasion, Deputy Minister Botes met with several Cuban Ministries and institutions.

Science and Innovation were identified as key areas of cooperation between the South African Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and their Cuban counterparts.

The JCM convenes annually, taking place against the backdrop of the bilateral and fraternal relations of solidarity between the two countries that go far beyond the formal establishment of diplomatic relations in May 1994.

Also Read: Cuba and South Africa to strengthen bilateral ties

After attending the JCM meeting, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister, Elio Rodríguez also met with the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor.

Naledi Pandor reiterated that South Africa will support Cuba over the economic, commercial & financial blockade imposed by the United States (US). She also expressed her support for Cuba as it holds the presidency of the Group of 77 plus China.

After carrying out a meeting with South African counterparts, Deputy Foreign Minister Elio Rodríguez said to the media, “he expressed Cuba’s willingness to continue strengthening relations with that sister nation.”

Furthermore, Deputy Foreign Minister Elio Rodríguez also met with members of the South African Communist Party.