SA Signs Defence Pact with Kuwaitis
Visiting Kuwaiti Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad AlSabah signed a defence pact with SA yesterday in Pretoria under which the Gulf emirate may buy more defence equipment. "When they get home, they will probably decide what are the defence needs they feel they can satisfy from (this) market," SA's Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said after the signing ceremony.
SA's defence industry has already sold a security fence to Kuwait for its border with Iraq.
Lekota said the memorandum of understanding formalised closer military co-operation on training, exercises, and exchange of expertise, and provided for cooperation in peacekeeping.
"We also include the possibility of co-operation in the exchange of technology," he said.
Sabah, who arrived in Pretoria on Sunday for a five-day visit, said: "This is just the beginning of a very important mission for the future." Officials said Sabah was scheduled to hold talks with Deputy President Jacob Zuma today , and would meet leading figures in the defence industry later in the week.
Lekota pointed out Sabah's trip came soon after a visit by Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.
The continuing tension between Iraq and Kuwait was likely to be discussed in Sabah's stay, Lekota indicated.
SA felt compelled to play a role that would encourage both sides to resolve the tension by negotiations, he said.
With acknowledgements to Sapa-AFP and Business Day.