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South African Army Chief lays wreath at National War Memorial

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Chief of the South African Army, Lieutenant General Lawrence Khulekani Mbatha on Tuesday visited the National War Memorial and paid his respects to the fallen soldiers by laying a wreath. 

The South African Army Chief accompanied by his wife along with a two-member delegation is on a four-day visit to India seeking to further strengthen military ties between both countries.

Both countries share a great relationship and their historical bonds can be traced back to the time when Mahatma Gandhi started his Satyagraha movement in South Africa over a century ago. Both countries established the India-South Africa Joint Commission at the level of Foreign Ministers in 1994 to identify areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. 

On August 3, India and South Africa held the third round of the 11th Round of Foreign Office Consultations in New Delhi 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. 

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.

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