By SA News
The South Africa-Iran Deputy Ministerial Working Group (DMWG) will kick off on Thursday in Pretoria.
To be hosted by International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo, the session is expected to review and enhance bilateral relations between Tehran and Pretoria.
“The DMWG provides impetus to the Structured Bilateral Mechanism and is mandated to track progress in normalising trade and financial relations between the respective countries in the post-sanctions era and to guide and institute measures in this respect,” South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said on Wednesday.
The DMWG is meant to ensure the South Africa-Iran bilateral relationship progresses into a substantive strategic partnership within targeted sectors.
Thursday’s meeting will focus on the outcomes of the April Presidential State visit to Iran, as well as the enhancement of trade, investment and economic relations.
“In addition, the DMWG will assess the implementation of the South Africa-Iran Strategic Framework. It is expected that the outcome of the meeting will subsequently inform the substantive part of the South Africa-Iran Joint Commission,” the department said.
During the State visit in April, President Jacob Zuma signed several agreements and commitments by both sides to take economic and trade relations to greater heights, following the lifting of sanctions against Iran.
President Zuma and his Iranian counterpart undertook to take cooperation to a higher level in the fields of trade, education and skills development, science and technology, energy, agriculture, mining and mineral beneficiation, infrastructure development and transport, finance, banking as well as insurance and tourism.
South Africa views Iran as a strategic trading partner within the Middle East and Central Asian region.
The two sides share a long historical relationship, with Iran having stood with and supported the struggle for liberation in South Africa, while South Africa supported Iran in the face of unilaterally imposed sanctions.