South Africa's experience of the transition from apartheid following the Codesa negotiations and the KwaZulu-Natal peace talks was commended globally, and other conflict zones tried to use our model and know-how to resolve their problems.

Because of Mandela's stature, South Africa had a formidable presence in the international community during his term in office. When Thabo Mbeki took over, he led the initiative for development in Africa and campaigned for greater involvement of the continent's leaders in multilateral forums.

It was also during Mbeki's presidency that, as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union, he sent a special mission to Baghdad days before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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