US-SA talks begin as Clinton arrives in Pretoria
Talks on US-SA ties begin with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane heading high-level delegations.
Talks on the state of the US-SA relationship began in Pretoria on Tuesday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane heading high-level delegations.
A smiling Clinton was greeted by Nkoana-Mashabane on the steps of the OR Tambo building‚ South Africa’s gleaming and opulently appointed new foreign ministry.
The two later attended a lunch for government and business leaders from the two countries.
US-SA bilateral trade rose to about $22bn in 2011‚ a healthy figure but one that is well below SA’s booming trade with China.
During a seven-nation African tour‚ Clinton has twice made acerbic allusions to China’s growing role in African economies‚ without mentioning China by name.
At a business forum in Johannesburg on Monday evening she drew a sharp distinction between those who wanted to add value to local economies and those who merely wanted to “extract it”.
SA is drawing closer to China through their membership of the Brics grouping‚ whose other members are Brazil‚ Russia and India.
Clinton and Nkoana-Mashabane were due to address a news conference at the foreign ministry at about 2pm. Clinton will then pay a courtesy called on the African Union Commission’s chairwoman‚ Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
SA is the longest leg of Clinton’s visit. She went to Qunu on Monday for a private meeting with former president Nelson Mandela and will travel to Cape Town on Wednesday for a speech at the University of the Western Cape.
She flies to Ghana on Thursday.