Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday said that it was high time that his country started delivering oil to South Africa, and that this would promote South-South relations.
Speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, during his first State visit to South Africa, he also said that South Africa's national oil and gas company, PetroSA, should "immediately" go into Venezuela to exploit the assets that it had acquired there.
Last week, newswire Reuters reported that PetroSA had held high-level discussions with its Venezuelan counterpart on projects including oil exploration and the production of heavy crude oil.
Ministers from Venezuela and their South African counterparts signed a number of energy cooperation agreements on Tuesday, which South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki said would pave the way for the countries to enter into detailed negotiations.
Mbeki told journalists that the two countries were looking at eventually eliminating the intermediaries and allow for direct State-to-State contact regarding the supply of oil, which would remove elements of cost. Cost and price structures were, however, still to be developed.
Both Presidents agreed that cooperation between the two countries would be strategic in nature and that the countries should endevour to draw lessons from each others successes and failures.
Mbeki added that South Africa and Venezuela would also look at concluding an economic-cooperation agreement before the end of the year.
In future, the countries would also discuss frameworks in the telecoms and ICT sectors, as well as in the areas of arts and culture.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
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