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Transform global institutions: Zuma tells Obama

world Updated: Aug 08, 2009 20:13 IST
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Signalling a fresh start in its ties with the US, South Africa on Saturday appealed to President Barack Obama to transform global institutions to make them represent the aspirations of all developing countries.

Addressing a joint press conference with visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, President Jacob Zuma said his administration was seeking to take the good relations between South Africa and the United States to a higher level.

"In both countries there are two new administrations which are taking that relationship a level higher. That is what we are trying to do," Zuma said after the 45-minute long meeting.

"President Obama should take steps to transform global institutions so that they could represent the aspirations of all countries," he said.

Clinton said the Obama administration wants Africa to be a high foreign policy priority, and would rely on "the central leadership role that South Africa plays."

She welcomed what she said would be increased cooperation in the fight against HIV/AIDS but also called on the country to do more to press for reform in neighboring Zimbabwe.

Relations between South Africa and US were strained during the earlier Bush Administration over the cause and treatment of AIDS and the crisis in Zimbabwe.