US Ambassador Brigety laments neglected US-SA diplomatic relations

US Ambassador Brigety laments neglected US-SA diplomatic relations

Johannesburg, OCT 4: United States Ambassador to South Africa Dr Reuben E. Brigety says his country’s relations with SA have not received full attention over the last few years.

Brigety recently spoke on the cultural and historical connections between the two countries at the University of Johannesburg.

“Over the last year, there has been a lot of attention on high level political issues . Some of them are positive and some others contentious…,” he said.

He added: “South African and the United States both have relationships with many countries and some of these relationships are very special. I believe there is something particular or perhaps even unique about the relationship between the UNited States of America and the Republic of South Africa.

“That uniqueness is rooted in the nature of our respective society and our experiences as governments that were founded on both ideas and principles and indeed through the struggle… (but) I do not think the special relationship between the US and South Africa has gotten attention.”

His comments come as Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor has yet to announce whether the South African government will institute any action against Brigety following his controversial remarks over the docking of the Russian vessel, Lady R, in Simon’s Town in the Western Cape on December 2022.

At the time, Brigety claimed that the ship in question had loaded weapons supplied to Russia by South Africa.

But, last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation indicating that a report compiled by an independent panel assigned to investigate the claims, through a commission of inquiry, revealed that there was no evidence proving that South African arms, ammunition or other military equipment were on board the vessel.

Brigety declined to remark on the saga during a recent radio interview stating that going forward, the matter would be discussed through “diplomatic channels.”

Meanwhile, further speaking on the diplomatic relations between the two countries, he added that “President (Joe) Biden and President (Cyril) Ramaphosa are talking about how we can work together to achieve national objectives and tackle international problems.”

He also said US secretary Antony Blinken and Pandor alongside dozens of other senior officials were engaging on a regular basis as with tremendous levels of engagement taking place across government lines as well as the private sector and civil society on both sides of the Atlantic.