I am very pleased to celebrate with you the 204° Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Argentina that took place in the city of Tucumán, on July the 9th of 1816. Since that moment, we declared our political independence and started our road as a young nation to build our own future.
Like any other nation in the world we went through the turbulences of history but we are proud that after a long journey we arrived to these days as a democratic and peaceful nation ready to make its contribution to the goals of international peace and security, protection of human rights and sustainable development that we share with the rest of the international community.
If there is something that defines Argentina is our diversity. Argentina has almost three million square kilometers with all climates and beautiful landscapes. The natural diversity is complemented with the diversity of its people. From 1880 to 1950 we welcomed more than 5.000.000 inmigrants from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. All of them taught us the value of sacrifice and the importance of hard work and dedication. So much diversity drove us to be creative, restless, motivated, sometimes too passionate, mostly on politics and football.
Argentina is a country without any armed, racial, religious or border conflict and we have learned to live peacefully as one single and integrated nation.
Many economic and social challenges remain ahead of us but we are confident that we will overcome them with the effort of our people and with respect for democracy and pluralism.
Since the beginning of their diplomatic relations in 1991, Argentina and South Africa have developed a solid bilateral relationship characterized by a varied and multiple agenda. It is my sincere aspiration to strengthen and deepen the links between our two nations in the coming years.
I firmly believe in the extraordinary potential of our bilateral relation. Argentina and South Africa share fundamental principles and values in their respective foreign policies such as the defense of multilateralism, adherence to the fundamental norms of international law, the promotion and protection of human rights, respect for global institutions in international security, environment and trade, among others.
South Africa has always supported our historical claim on the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands
Our economies are complementary and offer great potential if we work together and we join efforts. Bilateral trade has historically been surplus for our country. South Africa is the first destination of our exports in sub-Saharan Africa. I´m persuaded that there are great opportunities ahead to Argentina and South Africa, both in commodities and in industrial products.
It is our hope that once the pandemic we are all suffering is defeated Argentina and South Africa will organize the meeting of the Bilateral Commission South Africa Argentina (BICSAA) to give a new start to our promissory relation.
In these difficult times South Africa has shown to Argentina friendship and solidarity. Thanks to the efforts of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and South African Airways (SAA) a flight was organized to allow 81 argentine citizens stranded in South Africa to get back to Argentina last June 13. We feel very thankful to South Africa for this generous action.
Finally I´d like to greet the argentine citizens living in South Africa. They contribute with their daily work to the welfare of this great nation and help us to develop a strong and friendly relation with this country.
Viva Sudafrica y viva Argentina!