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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 22, 2005

Statement on Ten Years of Democracy in South Africa

President Bush congratulates the people of South Africa on their achievements during their first ten years of democracy. President Mbeki's February 11 State of the Nation address made clear South Africa's commitment to progress at home and around the world. In this broader effort, we support President Mbeki's work to promote the advancement of democracy and regional stability in Cote d'Ivorie and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and urge a common effort to ensure that the parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe are free and fair.

The United States shares many of the goals and values expressed in the State of the Nation address, particularly South Africa's great concern over tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. We will work closely within the framework of South Africa's national comprehensive plan to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and plan to continue and increase our cooperation via the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

The United States looks forward to working closely with South Africa to further our shared interest of building a world in which all peoples can live in peace, freedom, and dignity.

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