Item 729 - Statement on President Mandela's visit to The United Arab Emirates

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Statement on President Mandela's visit to The United Arab Emirates


  • 1998-12-04 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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South African Government Information Website

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State Visit to The United Arab Emirates

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  • English

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President Nelson Mandela will visit the United Arab Emirates from 6 to 8 December 1998 as the guest of honour at the annual Summit of the Co-operation Council for the Arabian Gulf States.

This Council, also known as the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC), was founded in 1981 by the six Arab Gulf States, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to strengthen interstate cooperation in this oil-rich region.

It is the first time in the history of the GCC that an outside Head of State has been invited to attend and address the GCC Summit. During the two-day visit, President Mandela will be received by his host His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan, President of the United Arab Emirates.

President Mandela will also have separate meetings with the following leaders of the GCC:

* His Highness, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah, Emir of the State of Kuwait,
* His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
* His Royal Highness Sheikh Isa bin Soliman Al Khalifa, State of Bahrain,
* His Majesty Sultan Gaboos bin Said bin Said, Sultanate of Oman, and
* His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, State of Qatar

South African political, trade and investment relations with these strategically important Arabian Gulf states are good. The bilateral trade not only consists of oil purchases by South Africa, but includes a significant exportation of goods and services to the Gulf - mostly distributed through Dubai, the gateway to the region. Total two-way trade to the Gulf region amounted to R6.1bn in 1997.

A large South African community has settled in the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia. These South Africans work in management cadres of multinational companies, in the medical and paramedical fields as well as in construction, engineering and information technology sectors. South African companies have won substantial turn-key contracts in these countries which has included the construction of a prestigious hotel complex and extensions to the International Airport in Dubai by Murray and Roberts; SASOL entered into a joint venture with the Qatari General Petroleum Corporation and Philips Petroleum Company of the USA to convert natural gas into liquids in Qatar; and South African companies involvement in sugar projects in both Kuwait and Oman.

Standard Bank, LTA and other South African companies have established regional offices in Dubai to serve South African business interests in the region.

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Acquisition method: From website ; Source: South African Government Information Website. Accessioned on 14/12/06 by Helen Joannides




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