SA needs a foreign policy based on facts and principle

South Africa should play a leading role in foreign policy issues but for years we have aligned ourselves with despots and human rights abusers around the world.

We have squandered a wonderful opportunity to show the world what value South Africa can add.

mmusi believe in tomorrow

South Africa has unique experience in the world as one of the only countries that has found a negotiated, peaceful solution to a seemingly intractable conflict.

We can harness it to play a proactive, constructive leadership role in opening communication channels between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, to help bring them together to negotiate a peaceful solution and an end to conflict.

This is why a DA delegation visited Israel and Palestine earlier this month.

Diplomacy cannot be based on propaganda or historical alliances of government. It must be rooted in the present and based on facts.

To hear both sides of a story is not only a legal and moral principle, it is also a practical necessity.

“If you really want to know what is going on, do what Helen Suzman did and go see for yourself. This is exactly what we did.

We went to Israel and Palestine to get the facts and to establish constructive relationships of trust with leaders on both sides of the conflict – and also to learn about innovation and trade opportunities in the region.

In addition to political leaders, we met with members of the broader community of civil society, business people and religious leaders from both sides,” said Mmusi Maimane.

“The DA is committed to a foreign policy that is consistent and rooted in fact and principle; a foreign policy that takes South Africa and the world forward, promotes liberal democracy and protects individual human rights.

We intend to engage more leaders from across the world – in order to prepare for being in government, innovate and forge good relations.

In 1993, Nelson Mandela stated that: “Human rights will be the light that guides our foreign affairs”.

Under Zuma’s ANC, South Africa’s foreign policy has strayed from that path.

The DA is committed to getting South Africa back onto it,” added Maimane.

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