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Reconciliation is the way, South African ambassador urges

Ruby Marks, the South African Ambassador to Thailand, hopes the Kingdom will resolve its political conflict through reconciliation and says trade between the two countries will continue as normal.

"I think that the most important lesson - not only for Thailand but for other countries as well - is dialogue, dialogue and dialogue," she said, adding that compromise between different parties was essential to moving forward.

She said she had told South African investors that Thailand was still open for business as usual and since Thailand was South Africa's biggest trading partner in Southeast Asia, the political situation should not affect business between the two countries.

South Africa was one of many states to voice concern over the political crisis in Thailand, condemning the coup and calling for a return to constitutional order. France and America were among the other countries that expressed disapproval over the coup.

Ambassador Marks gave a press conference on Thursday to discuss the result of South Africa's fifth democratic election on May 7 after the end of apartheid in 1994.

Jacob Zuma of the African National Congress party (ANC) was elected to a second term as president with 62 per cent of the vote. Initially led by Nelson Mandela, the ANC ended decades of white minority rule.

Now, 20 years after the creation of modern-day South Africa, Ambassador Marks said the country had achieved around 75 per cent of the goals set by Mandela in 1994 - which broadly centred on establishing social and economic equality for everyone regardless of sex or race.


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