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South Africa advances ties with U.S.

07-30-2012 06:29 BJT

JOHANNESBURG, July 29 (Xinhua) -- The South African government is promoting its relationship with the United States by increasing the new exchange and cooperation in recent months.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit South Africa and hold the strategic dialogue with the South African officials on August 7, discussing a series of issues of mutual interest, spokesperson of South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation Monyela said on Sunday.

"The bilateral relations between South Africa and the U.S. are strong, and the U.S. administration is interested in partnering with South Africa domestically and regionally," said the spokesperson.

The news came only several days following Deputy President of South Africa Kgalema Motlanthe concluded his visit to the United States on July 24.

During attending the international AIDS conference in the United States, Motlanthe expressed his appreciation to the U.S. government for its support to South Africa in its efforts to fight AIDS, urging the U.S. government to continue its support to South Africa.

In June 2010, Vice U.S. President Joe Biden visited to South Africa, meeting with Motlanthe and other high-ranking officials.

Besides political ties, South Africa is also strengthening its trade relationship with the United States.

On June 18, South Africa Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and U.S. Trade Representatives Ron Kirk signed a trade and investment framework agreement.

Kirk said,"The agreement will not only help to increase and diversity trade between the two countries, but it will promote new U.S. investment that is critical to South Africa's economic development."

The United States is currently the South Africa's third largest trading partner, with total two-way trade between the two countries reaching 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.

In 2011, South African exports to the United States valued at 9. 5 billion dollars, increasing by 15.7 percent from 2010.

South Africa is also seeking steadily advancing in the military cooperation between the two countries.

Early this month, a delegation of the South African National Defense Force visited the U.S. National Guard bases to exchange the experiences in logistics. "By working with our counterparts in the South African National Defense Force, the National Guard is helping to foster better relations on the African continent," said an officer of the U.S. National Guard.

On May 25, a U.S. navy warship docked at Simons Town for a port visit and joint exercises in South Africa.

South Africa is the largest economic entity on the African continent, while the United States is the world's largest economy.

As the global economy slows down, South Africa is expected to seek more cooperation with the United States in the coming months.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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