NEWS

ANC To Decide On Downgrade Of Israeli Embassy At Conference

The matter, which was tabled at the party's policy conference in July, is going up for debate at the national conference in less than two weeks.

06/12/2017 16:44 SAST | Updated 06/12/2017 17:02 SAST
Mohamed Azakir / Reuters
Palestinian women in Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

The ANC has yet to decide on whether it will adopt a policy recommendation to downgrade the South African embassy in Israel to a liaison office.

The matter, which was tabled at the party's policy conference in July, is going to be left on the table for debate at the national conference in less than two weeks.

In a policy briefing at Luthuli House on Wednesday, deputy minister of public service and administration Dipuo Bertha Letsatsi-Duba –– who serves on the ANC national executive committee's sub-committee on international relations –– said an assessment is being conducted on the implications of the decision.

"During the policy conference there were two main views. First, that we retain the status quo. The other [is] that we downgrade... Over and above [that], I think there was also a sentence which says there will be an assessment of the impact of the two options that were raised by policy delegates," she said.

The recommendation came from the ANC in Western Cape earlier this year, in a bid to reduce South Africa's diplomatic ties to Israel.

"Our engagement will now try to focus on transformational campaigns... the ANC remains a principled movement guided by its commitment to the realisation of world peace... Within our overall foreign policy discourse, our commitment to [the] African policy agenda... is central to our work," she said.

The ANC also reaffirmed its support for Zimbabwe.

"Both government and the ANC should develop a coherent message on xenophobia and how we can manage the issue...We support the peaceful transition of power and congratulate the people of Zimbabwe for having exercised restraint," Letsatsi-Duba said.