South Africa’s minister for employment and labor has praised the friendly bilateral relations between his country and Turkey. 

Speaking at an event marking Turkey’s 97th Republic Day in the capital Pretoria late Thursday, Thulas Nxesi said: “It’s an honor for me to convey our congratulations and wishes to the president, the government and people of the Republic of Turkey on this occasion of the 97th Republic Day of Turkey.”

Nxesi also thanked Turkey for sending medical equipment to South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were very happily surprised by the gracious attendance of the South African government at our very limited national day celebrations,” Turkey’s Ambassador Elif Comoglu Ulgen told Anadolu Agency.

The government designated Nxesi as well as the chief of state protocol to represent South Africa at the event, she explained.

She said although the event was attended by Turkish Embassy staff along with a few diplomats and some representatives of Turkish institutions in South Africa, it was a very meaningful gathering full of joy.

Turkey’s new consul general in Cape Town, Sinan Yesildag, and the ambassadors of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were also in attendance.

The Turkish institutions that attended the function included the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), Turkish Airlines, the Yunus Emre Institute, and the Maarif Foundation, the last an educational institution founded by the Turkish government.

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