Sun, 14 Aug 2022

New Delhi [India], August 3 (ANI): India and South Africa held the third round of the 11th Round of Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi on Wednesday where both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations.

"The 11th Session of India-South Africa Foreign Office Consultations was held on 03 August 2022 in New Delhi. The Consultations were co-chaired by Puneet R. Kundal, JS (East and Southern Africa), Ministry of External Affairs and Ntombizodwa Msutukazi Lallie, Acting Deputy Director-General Asia and the Middle East, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Both sides reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations covering political exchanges, defence, economic and commercial issues, consular matters, cooperation in the field of agriculture, health, energy and minerals, human resource development, art, culture, sports and import of Cheetahs from South Africa for reintroduction in India.

The two sides also reviewed the status of the agreements under negotiation and agreed to expedite their finalization for the mutual benefit of both countries. During the consultations, it was decided to celebrate the completion of 30 years of diplomatic ties, through cultural and sports events.

"Both sides also reviewed the status of MOUs/agreements under negotiation and agreed to expedite their finalization for the mutual benefit of both the countries. In light of the upcoming completion of 30 years of ties between the two countries, it was decided to celebrate the occasion suitably, both in India and South Africa, through cultural and sports events and other activities," MEA said.

Both sides expressed satisfaction over the growth in bilateral trade which touched $17 billion in 2021-22 and agreed on the importance of further diversifying their trade.

The two sides also exchanged views on regional and multilateral issues including cooperation at the UN, BRICS, IBSA and IORA. The South African side assured of their support for the upcoming India G20 Presidency while the Indian side expressed its support for South Africa's BRICS Chairship in 2023.

Both sides also discussed regional issues, global developments and issues of common interest including the situation in Ukraine.

The two sides agreed to continue high-level exchanges and regular meetings of the institutional mechanisms such as the Joint Commission and various Joint Working Groups to keep up the momentum in bilateral relations. According to MEA, the Indian side also reiterated an invitation to South Africa to join International Solar Alliance and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.

The talks were held in a friendly and cordial atmosphere. Both sides agreed to hold the next round of Consultations at mutually convenient dates in Pretoria. (ANI)

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