Damascus, SANA – Ambassador of South Africa in Syria Shawn Byneveldt held on Sunday a reception on occasion of Freedom Day, South Africa’s national day, at Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.
The event was attended by Speaker of the Parliament Mohammad Jihad al-Laham, Petroleum Minister Sleiman al-Abbas, Economy Minister Humam al-Jazaeri, Presidential Political and Media Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad, and Governor of Syria’s Central Bank Adeeb Mayyaleh, in addition to a number of officials, MPs, and political, academic, cultural, social, economic, media, and religious figures.
In a speech during the event, Dr. Mikdad stressed Syria’s support to the people of South Africa in their struggle for liberation and eliminating racism in all of its forms.
He pointed out to the support provided to the apartheid by countries that are currently fighting humanity under pretexts of protecting the human rights, citing the sufferings of the Palestinians under the occupation of Israel, which was a supporter of the apartheid regime.
“While we are gathered here to celebrate the victory of South Africa, we are countering the international terrorism and its backers in KSA, Qatar, Turkey, France and the US,” Dr. Mikdad said, adding that the repercussions of terrorism will not affect Syria alone but rather will bounce back to affect its backers and funders wherever they are”.
Dr. Mikdad concluded by saying that Syria is now fighting a new form of apartheid, which is the international terrorism along with its backers, adding that Syria will be victorious.
For his part, Byneveldt stressed the deep-rooted relations between the two friendly countries, highlighting his country’s keenness on promoting these relations in all domains.
He said that the road to freedom and democracy was not paved in South Africa and the achievement of freedom was not possible without the help and support of real friends like Syria and other countries.
This 27th of April marks South Africa’s 21st celebration of the Freedom Day, when the first elections took part in the country in 1994 after the fall of the apartheid in 1990. These elections brought Nelson Mandela into office after spending 27 years in prison because of his rejection of the apartheid regime.
Mohammad Nassr / Hazem Sabbagh