The Deputy Minister was speaking on Wednesday at a Public Participation Programme under the theme “South Africa’s Economic Diplomacy with Asia and the Middle East Region” in Cape Town.
“What we want to emphasis as the department of International Relations is that we are bridge builders.”
In addition to the promotion of stability and prosperity in that region being in South Africa’s national interest, many South Africans have an emotional or spiritual bond with the region.
“This is understandable, because the world’s three major monotheistic religions have their origins in the Middle East. There is also a strong historical bond that exists between the people of South Africa and those of Palestine,” said Deputy Minister Mfeketo.