CAPE TOWN— Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister Abdelkader Messahel has underlined here that his visit to South Africa is part of efforts aimed at strengthening bilateral co-operation and deepening consultations on regional and international issues.

Speaking ahead of talks here Wednesday with South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Lindiwe Sisulu, Messahel emphasized the strategic character of relations between Algeria and South Africa, rooted in their common history of struggle for independence, liberation and development.

Reiterating Algeria’s commitment to giving new impetus to co-operation with South Africa, he said the efforts made by Algeria for many years to diversify its economy, modernize its basic infrastructures, boost socio-economic development and to deepen good governance had enabled its economy to offer opportunities worth exploiting.

In this regard, he placed particular emphasis on the revitalization of the bilateral High Joint Commission to further promote bilateral relations in an organized comprehensive framework, adding that the regular holding of meetings of this body would provide a framework for the two countries to exhaustively assess their co-operation, identify ways to further strengthen bilateral co-operation and examine possibilities to establish mutually beneficial and productive partnerships.

In this regard, he stressed the importance of implementing a business forum likely to constitute an appropriate instrument for the strengthening of trade and promoting investments.

Messahel also noted that Algeria and South Africa were backing each other’s efforts at the continental level, mainly within the African Union (AU), and welcomed the convergence of views and analyses of the two countries on major issues of common interest.

Algeria and South Africa, he stressed, “share the same ideals of peace, justice and solidarity, and pursue the same goals for the building of democratic and more equitable international relations”.

The two countries, he added, also worked for the establishment of peace and stability in Africa, based on their commitment and their duty to promote and defend Africa’s interests in a rapidly changing world.