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South Africa and UK to Strengthen Ties on Energy and Climate

President Cyril Ramaphosa and the newly elected British Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer have pledged to deepen relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom. They plan to collaborate on various fronts, with a significant focus on a just energy transition.

On a call to President Ramaphosa on Sunday, 7 July 2024 Prime Minister Starmer expressed his interest in working closely with South Africa. This is part of executing the mandate given to the Labour Party in the recent general election on Thursday, 4 July 2024.

President Ramaphosa congratulated Prime Minister Starmer on his electoral victory. He noted that the Statement of Intent framing South Africa’s Government of National Unity incorporates many objectives shared by both new administrations. This alignment in goals provides a solid foundation for enhanced cooperation between the two countries.

Building on Past Discussions

The leaders viewed this latest discussion as a continuation of their talks from November 2022. At that time, President Ramaphosa visited London on the first State Visit hosted by His Majesty King Charles III.

During that visit, Sir Keir Starmer was the leader of the opposition Labour Party, and both leaders had productive deliberations on various issues of mutual interest.

President Ramaphosa described the bilateral relationship between South Africa and the UK as a special bond. He highlighted South Africa’s desire to see greater alignment with the UK at both national and multilateral levels.

Moreover, he sighted South Africa’s Presidency of the G20 in 2025 as a significant opportunity for collaboration on shared interests.

The President expressed his vision for closer cooperation with the UK in several domains. These include political engagement, social initiatives, people-to-people exchanges, diplomatic relations, trade, investment, and climate change efforts. He believes that strengthened ties in these areas will benefit both nations and contribute to global progress.

Also Read: African Energy Week (AEW) 2024: Pioneering Investment and Collaboration in Africa

Expanding Areas of Cooperation

Prime Minister Starmer agreed with President Ramaphosa’s vision. He acknowledged that the G20 would be a crucial platform for advancing shared interests.

These interests include climate change action, economic growth, and the eradication of inequality. The Prime Minister expressed his commitment to working with South Africa on these critical issues.

Both leaders are optimistic about the potential for deeper collaboration between their countries. They see opportunities to build on the existing strong foundation of their bilateral relationship. By working together, they aim to address global challenges and promote sustainable development.