Visit to Australia by the President of Botswana
1 March 2010
Today, Monday 1 March, I met with President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama of Botswana in Perth.
President Khama is visiting Australia from today until Thursday 4 March as a Guest of the Australian Government. The President will be accompanied by Botswana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Hon Phandu Skelemani, who visited Canberra in June 2009.
While in Australia, President Khama will meet the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. He will also visit the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the NSW Rural Fire Service.
President Khama’s visit to Australia is a further demonstration of the warm and substantive relationship between Botswana and Australia.
It follows an official visit by the Governor-General to Botswana in 2009. I also visited Botswana in January this year, the first visit by an Australian Foreign Minister to Botswana.
During this visit I announced Australia would provide a further $500,000 in fire management assistance to support training by the NSW Rural Fire Service and $250,000 to build capacity in quarantine and plant bio-security.
Today, President Khama and I discussed the strong partnership between our two countries, including in the areas of education, agriculture and bushfire prevention and management.
We also discussed shared concerns regarding the situation in Zimbabwe. Botswana has played an important role within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) calling for reform in Zimbabwe.
While in Botswana I visited the headquarters of SADC — the first Australian Foreign Minister to do so.
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