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South Africa and Peace Corps

SOUTH AFRICA & PEACE CORPS SIGN HISTORIC AGREEMENT

Gore and Mbeki Agree To Send Peace Corps Volunteers To South Africa

Pretoria, South Africa, Dec. 5-Vice President Al Gore and South African Deputy President Thabo Mbeki today signed an agreement that will send Peace Corps volunteers to South Africa. The signing was a follow-up to plans announced last October by President Clinton and South African President Nelson Mandela during a ceremony at the White House.

Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan joined Vice President Gore and Deputy President Mbeki for the signing, which took place at the President's Guest House in Pretoria. While in South Africa, Gearan will meet with government officials, volunteer groups and non-governmental organizations about possible activities for Peace Corps volunteers.

"This is a partnership of historic significance," said Gearan. "Sending volunteers to South Africa is a very important step for the Peace Corps and for the people of the United States. By living and working at the grass roots level, Peace Corps volunteers can help further strengthen the personal ties between Americans and South Africans."

South Africa represents the 131st country Peace Corps has entered in its 34-year history. Currently more than 2,500 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 36 African countries. Since 1961, over 140,000 volunteers have served in all corners of the world. Over 7,200 volunteers, a twenty-year high, serve in 95 countries in such areas as small business development, environment, education, health and nutrition, and agriculture.


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