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South Africa Fm Naledi Pandor Received in Washington by Antony Blinken

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on Tuesday was welcomed in Washington for bilateral talks. Pandor was received by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who hailed the partnership between the US and South Africa.

According to the State Department, the U.S. and South Africa collaborate significantly in the areas of health, education, environment, and digital economy.

“We have lots to discuss with regard to regional issues, but also our own relationship, the work we’re doing together on everything from climate, to energy to infrastructure to health,” Blinken said Tuesday.

South Africa is the largest U.S. trade partner in Africa. The state department says approximately 600 American businesses operate in South Africa, and the value of two-way trade is just under $18 billion.

Pandor said at this time, South Africa is hosting its ambassadors in Washington who are serving throughout the Americas for discussions on its relations with countries in the hemisphere.

“As always, the United States of America features as one of the most important partners for South Africa,” she said. ” I’m thrilled that we have the opportunity to catch up and to give you some sense of what’s happening in Southern Africa and broadly on the continent. And just to continue the wonderful cooperation we’ve built together”, Pandor added.

Naledi Pandor’s visit comes amid the tremendous strain on the strategic partnership between South Africa and the United States since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The South African government has been unwilling to demand that Russia puts an end to hostilities and withdraw its forces from Ukraine.