Joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of South Africa and the Sahrawi Democratic Republic

In view of the long history of solidarity, mutual assistance and cooperation, which has always existed between the peoples of South Africa in their commune struggle for freedom and dignity, the Republic of South Africa and the Sahrawi Democratic Republic have decided to strengthen and reinforce their brotherly ties.

Consequently, and in implementation of the principles and objectives enshrined in the AU and the UN Carters, the Republic of South Africa and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic have decided to establish diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level as of Wednesday, 15 th of September 2004.

The two countries reaffirm their commitment towards the implementation of the UN/AU Peace Plan for Western Sahara and consider that speedy holding of a just, transparent and democratic referendum of self-determination constitutes the only viable way which both parties to the conflict agreed to and which received the supports of the entire international community.

In this perspective, the Republic of South Africa will bring a highly valued contribution to the return of peace and stability in the northern part of our continent through a fair and balanced approach towards all peoples of the region.

The Republic of South Africa eagerly calls on the two parties to the conflict to fully cooperate with Secretary General of the United Nations in order to successfully achieve the speedy implementation of the Peace Plan through the holding of a fair and unimpaired referendum.

On its part, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic commits itself to accept without any restrictions the results of the referendum.

The Government and the people of Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic express their sincere appreciation to the people of South Africa and render a warm homage to President Thabo Mbeki for the relentless efforts he has been deploying for the cause of peace, stability, prosperity and dignity for all Africans, and his personal commitment and endeavours in order to re-establish our continent, Africa, in its rightful place in the concert of nations.

Cape Town, Wednesday the 15 Th of September 2004.

For the Republic of South Africa

Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma Minister of Foreign Affairs.

For the Saharawi Republic

Mohamed Salem Ould Salek Minister of Foreign Affairs

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