Minister of Defence Lindiwe Sisulu this morning met her Turkish counterpart ?smet Yilmaz in Ankara.
She is accompanying Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters and deputy international relations minister Ebrahim Ebrahim.
Lieutenant General Abel Mxolisi Shilubane, the Chief of Defence Intelligence is also in Turkey and met the Chief of Turkish General Staff Lt Gen Ya?ar Güler.
The visit follows Motlanthe’s first official visit to Turkey in August 2010 and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan subsequent visit to South Africa last year, BuaNews reports.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation said Motlanthe and Erdogan were expected to hold discussions to review progress on bilateral relations and conclude the South Africa-Turkey Bi-National Commission (BNC), which deals with various agreements on energy; defence and economic and commercial relations.
“South Africa and Turkey have excellent relations that are characterised by regular high level engagements and an increasing focus on the development and implementation of concrete programmes of cooperation in agreed priority areas in the bilateral and multilateral fields,” the department said.
The total bilateral trade between South Africa and Turkey increased slightly to R7 billion in 2011. South Africa’s major exports to Turkey comprised, amongst others, mineral products, base metals, machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, products of the chemical or allied products, vehicles, aircrafts, vessels, iron and steel, organic chemicals, ores, slag and ash.
Turkey’s total foreign direct investment in South Africa is estimated to be US$60 million.