The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrated their 93rd National Day on the 21 September 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria.
H.E Mr Sultan Al Angari welcomed Members of the Diplomatic Corp as well as distinguished guests to the event. Conveying sincere condolences to the Kingdom of Morocco for the catastrophic earthquake that took place 2 weeks prior. Condolences were also given to the State of Libya for the devastating flood that occured in Derna.
National Day is a very important event on the Saudi Calendar, it is a reminder of a glorious day in the Kingdoms national history that occurred in 1932. The theme for the National Day this year is, “we breathe and we achieve.”
The strong and historical relation between Saudi Arabia and South Africa has been built on mutual respect and an understanding of commonalities. Praising the strategic and cooperative relation between the two countries which dates back to 1994 , H.E.Mr Sultan Al Angari stated it continues to go from strength to strength.
The relation with South Africa has grown in the last year with the successful state visit of H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa that took place on the 15 and 16 October 2022. During that visit a number of agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed between the two countries in various fields. In another part of development they also managed to convene the 9th session in the Saudi South Africa joint commission which was kindly hosted by the Republic of South Africa on the 3 and 4th October 2022.
Saudi Arabia is currently regarded as one of the key trading partners for South Africa. According to the latest figures by the South African Trade,Industry and Competition ( the dtic )the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was ranked as South Africa’s 5th trading partner in 2020. The total of bilateral trade between Saudi Arabia and South Africa stood at 80 billion Rand in 2020.
With these cemented relations, in August 2023 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced that South African citizens would be eligible for tourist evisas which is valid for one year granting multiple entries and permits a stay of up to 90 days.
H.E Mr Al Angari congratulated the South African government on the success of the 15 BRICS summit, and expressed sincere appreciation to the government of South Africa as the president of BRICS 2023 and to all BRICS state members for extending an invitation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to become a full member of the block.
H.E. Mr Sultan Al Angari shared with guests that this would be the last National Day in South Africa that he would participate in as his term comes to an end in the country. Embarking on a new journey as the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates next.
In this regard H.E. Mr Al Angari expressed his gratitude to the Government of South Africa and to the officials of the development of International relations and Cooperation, in particular the director of the gulf states for the ongoing support in the past four years.
H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, Minister in the Presidency and Minister of Women, youth and persons with disabilities congratulated the Kingom of Saudi Arabia on this special occasion , marking the 93rd National Day.
With both countries being members of the G20 where they colloborate on common international issues, the two countries recognise each other as prominent members of their respected regions and are eager to develop a strategic relationship for purposes of bilateral trade and economic relations.
Since the establishment of bilateral relations in 1994, several high level visits notably by both heads of state reflecting the importance of bilateral relations between the two countries has been demonstrated by the visits of the former President Nelson Mandela, President Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma and President Cyril Ramaphosa who has already payed two state visits. President Ramaphosa’s visit to Saudi Arabia from the 15 to 16 October 2022 provided emputis to create factors for strengthing bilateral, political and economic relations particularly by consolidating cooperation in the area of political cooperation, trade, investment and expanding cultural and people to people interactions. Further the state visit witnessed the signing of 15 inter governmental documents, various business to business agreements to further business relations amounting to the approximate value of 15 million USD.
South Africa looks forwarding to continuing the very strong bilateral relations also through cooperation in relevant international forums.
Happy National Day Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦
by Marion Kate