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The Independent Online
BRITISH PM John Major has struck the right note with his address to a joint meeting of parliament.

Unlike President Mitterrand of France, whose officials offended the ANC with their arrogance and who was bent on fostering his own image, Mr Major showed a warm appreciation of the country's needs and potential. And his offer of friendship and assistance was heartfelt and meaningful, offered with no strings attached and a genuine desire to help . . .

Now there is a new South Africa, born with the blessing of Britain, which welcomed and encouraged then-president De Klerk's reforms. But it was Britain's economic links with South Africa that played a major role in the development of the country over the years. Today, all the trading nations of the world have beaten a path to our doors, and Britain is our second-biggest trading partner.

We owe her a great deal of gratitude for having continued her trading presence in South Africa when other countries applied sanctions with great harshness and their firms fled under a policy of divestment.

Many South African firms had British origins and many are still in British hands. Today, as we battle with the problems bequeathed by apartheid, we need Britain's friendship and assistance more than ever. And Mr Major has outlined steps that will ensure that our bonds not only remain but grow stronger . . .

Bravo, Mr Major, for your major contribution to the development and progress of the new South Africa.

Editorial in 'The Citizen', conservative Johannesburg daily.

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