Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Minister Vulin: South Africa has always been with Serbia

Today, in the building of the Old General Staff, Minister of Defence Aleksandar Vulin met the Minister of Defence and War Veterans of the South African Republic Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula where after the ceremony of the official reception they had a meeting.
Minister Vulin pointed out that Serbia had always understood and supported the struggle of the people of South Africa for equality and human rights.
- It is precisely why we have talked today as two friends, as representatives of two countries that recognise each other as friends in the international community and that support each other. I wish to thank the Government of South Africa for its principled position regarding Kosovo and Metohija in the framework of their strong and continuous support to the policy of international law. The South Africa does not recognise the so called Kosovo and Metohija and it has always strongly supported the position of the Republic of Serbia in all international fora thus upholding the international law – Serbian minister of defence said.
According to his words, Serbia appreciates the support of the South Africa and that country no matter how much geographically distant is a friendly country that stood by our side in all those moments when it was important for us.
- The South Africa has tremendous influence in the African continent, its voice is heard far and its example is followed. That is precisely why it is our great pleasure to host the Minister of Defence and for having an opportunity to once again reconfirm the friendship between our nations. The support of the South Africa to the policy of non-recognition of Kosovo and Metohija and to the policy of honouring the international law is of crucial significance in the African continent – Vulin said.
When it comes to the cooperation of the two ministries of defence, Serbian minister stated that there existed great understanding and that we could work together in the future.
- Our educational capacities are ready to receive the students from the South Africa, much like we received the students from Angola, Nigeria, Algeria and Libya. This is an opportunity for the officers from the South Africa to be educated in Serbia, to learn from us the best that we can offer, from our long tradition of military education and to gain the greatest benefit from it and thus enhance the Armed Forces of the South Africa. For us, this is an opportunity for Serbia to show to its friendly country how useful our mutual relations could be. We talked about military medical cooperation and about how we could learn from each other, and, certainly about the defence industry cooperation. The South Africa has one of the most powerful defence industries of the world and this is a great opportunity for us since we have been offered the open door to their market and through them to the market of the entire Africa. This is an excellent opportunity for our defence industry to show what it has, to show its knowledge and what it is that it can produce, and using the friendship with the South Africa ensure our the placement in African marked – Vulin stated.
He reiterated that defence industry of the South Africa was one of the most significant in the world and that it was great opportunity for us to cooperate together.
- Anyway, the politicians’ part of work is to open the door, to ensure work for these people so that they could present their products and their knowledge and that is exactly what we have done today. I am grateful for today’s visit and for the invitation and opportunity for me to visit the South Africa, and I am particularly grateful for the policy of support to international law and strong refusal to recognise Kosovo and Metohija – Vulin concluded.
Minister of Defence and War Veterans of the South African Republic pointed out that today’s visit was an opportunity to thank Serbia for the support rendered so far to their struggle for freedom.
- Although we are geographically distant countries, we believe that there exist so many things that we can do together. We are here because we believe that there is an unfinished business that we as two countries can complete together. We have a signed Memorandum of Understanding that we signed several years ago and I believe that the time has come to establish a legal framework for our defence cooperation. Also, we have invited the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Serbia to visit the South Africa on the occasion of the Air Exhibition in September 2018 – the Minister of Defence of the South Africa said.
She underlined that there were many topics of mutual interest of those two countries and those two ministries of defence, and she added that she had talked with Minister Vulin about military education, military cooperation, defence industry cooperation, foreign policy and the observance of the international law and human rights.
- There were concerns in our country because some of our neighbouring countries had recognised the independence of the so called Kosovo. Those are the sovereign states just like the South Africa is a sovereign state, but still it is not always possible to impose your will in such situations, but I think that it is very important to continue lobbying and work towards that goal. The South Africa has a long history of struggle – for human rights, justice and recognition of the international law, and we will continue in the future engaging and trying in the same manner so that the situation could be perceived the way we see it – Minister Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula. 
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