Damascus, SANA- The Embassy of South Africa in Damascus on Monday held an activity at al-Assad Library under the title “National Reconciliation and Peacebuilding.”
The event focused on the bitter experience which South Africa went through during the apartheid rule and the emergence of a new constitutional system, and how the country peacefully moved from the injustice and oppression to democracy thanks to the tolerance and reconciliation.
Ambassador of South Africa in Damascus Shaun Byneveldt hailed the support provided by Syria and the world to the struggle of South African people, affirming his country’s support to Syria in its efforts to reach a political solution to the crisis.
“Our goal is to strengthen our ties and relations with Syria as today, we stand together and we unify our efforts to build a better world where justice prevails,” Byneveldt said.
He talked about South Africa’s bitter experience during the apartheid rule and how it was able to overcome that experience.
“We realize that healing the wounds of the past needs to exert long-term efforts and to celebrate the national reconciliation day as a part of our joint efforts to liberate ourselves from the past…We are determined not to allow that phase return…The story of South Africa will simply remain a story of hope”, the ambassador added.
For his part, Minister of State for National Reconciliation Affairs Dr. Ali Haidar said that the dream has come true in South Africa thanks to the men of peace and reconciliation who struggled to achieve that dream, considering that the “reconciliation has been the basis of the country’s renaissance and of spreading peace and the values of freedom and justice.”
Haidar referred to the role of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela who adopted the project of the cessation of armed hostilities despite of what he faced of injustice to become an effective participant in the constitution of South Africa, hailing his noble stances towards the international issues, particularly the Palestinian cause.
Reconciliation and peacebuilding are the things that helped South Africa move towards the civil state which is based on the principles of citizenship and equality for all, Minister Haider added.
The deliberations of the participants in the activity focused on that the problem in the reconciliation process in Syria lies in non-Syrian members of terrorist organizations, who practice terrorist acts that prevent the completion of the reconciliation processes.
The difference between the crisis in Syria and the long struggle in South Africa was also one of the topics that were discussed during the event.
Official and religious figures and representatives of diplomatic missions participated in the activity along with a number of intellectuals.