South Africa dismissed a bid by US lawmakers to have legislation passed that calls for a review of bilateral ties between the two nations.
Two congressmen introduced a bipartisan bill to the House of Representatives on February 6, criticising a series of foreign policy positions taken by South Africa — including its case before the United Nations’ International Court of Justice accusing Israel of genocide. The proposed bill adds to criticism by US lawmakers last year of South Africa’s refusal to back the Western stance on Russia’s war with Ukraine, and its deepening relationship with the Brics economic bloc.
“It would be most unfortunate for South Africa-US relations if this bill ever sees the light of day,” Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, said by phone on Monday. “A lot of the issues raised by the members of Congress are issues that have either been dealt with through our own judicial processes or clarified in public communication.”
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The ICJ last month backed South Africa by ruling that Israel must act to prevent Palestinians from being killed or injured.
“Following the ICJ ruling on our application, the argument that our case was wrongful or politically motivated can no longer be sustained,” Magwenya said.
South Africa’s government maintains that while it may have opposing positions to the US on geopolitical issues, ties between the two nations remain strong. The US is South Africa’s second-largest trading partner after China.
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