International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor called for calm in the wake of a US airstrike that killed top Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
In a statement on Friday, her department said the South African government was alarmed by the escalating tension in Iraq, which has far-reaching ramifications for the Middle East as well as international peace and security.
“It is crucial for all sides to remain calm and desist from taking any further action that will exacerbate the already fragile situation,” said Pandor.
“South Africa emphasises its principled view that conflicts should be resolved through political dialogue rather than resorting to the use of force.”
Department spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said South Africa had reaffirmed the statement of the UN Security Council last month in which its members “called for maximum restraint and urged all to refrain from violence or the destruction of critical infrastructure”.
He added South Africa reiterated the council’s support for the “independence, sovereignty, unity, territorial integrity and prosperity of Iraq”.