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Real dialogue key to achieving transitional justice: de Klerk

2018/10/12 19:40:02

Taipei, Oct. 12 (CNA) The most valuable legacy South Africa shares with the world in abolishing apartheid is that as long as different political parties negotiate with an open mind and are willing to make compromises, they can eventually reconcile and move forward, former South African President F.W. de Klerk said in Taipei on Friday.

Reviewing the key factors that brought an end to apartheid in South Africa, de Klerk said it could not have happened without inclusive discussions among all parties, which led to a constitution that is committed to non-racialism and an equal society.

"You cannot have real peace and resolve the problems of the past without really talking to each other," de Klerk told CNA in an exclusive interview.

De Klerk was the last president of apartheid-era South Africa. He is known for working together with Nelson Mandela to end the country's system of racial segregation and ushering in multiracial democracy, for which they jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

De Klerk stressed that real dialogue involves not only honest communication but also a willingness among all participants to make concessions.

"Even the (worst) enemies can sit around the table, and through dialogue, reach agreement on the issues which divide them, and can together build a common vision for the future of the country," said de Klerk, who is visiting Taiwan for the ninth time.

Commenting on the deadlock in Taiwan-China relations, de Klerk said that as long as China refuses to accept the existence of an independent Taiwan, he urged Taiwan to continue strengthening its democracy, developing its economy and forging relations with countries around the world.

One of the formulas, however, remains good communication, he said. "The fact is that tension can, again, only be limited and resolved if people really talk to each other."

In addition, de Klerk encouraged Taiwan to work more closely with African countries as the continent is an "awakening giant" that could offer growing markets for exports.

He advised Taiwan to conduct a region-by-region review to identify the potential of different markets and boost trade ties with respective countries.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)