India, South Africa condemn terrorism

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New Delhi, June 4 (ANI): South African President Jacob Zuma, who is on a three-day visit to India, met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Friday and the two leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms.

President Zuma condemned attacks in India that resulted in the loss of innocent lives.

"The two leaders agreed on the need for greater cooperation among States and regional organizations in this regard and noted that the fight against international terrorism must be done with full respect to the UN Charter and International Law," a Ministry of External Affairs release said.

They emphasized the urgent need to finalize the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, and called upon all States to cooperate in resolving outstanding issues with the objective of an expeditious conclusion of negotiations and adoption of this Convention.

Both Dr Singh and President Zuma reiterated the unwavering commitment of South Africa and India to the goal of the complete elimination of nuclear weapons in a comprehensive, universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable manner and urged immediate efforts towards the realization of this goal.

They reaffirmed the inalienable right of all States to the peaceful application of nuclear energy, consistent with their international legal obligations.

The two leaders signed three bilateral agreements to give a fresh boost to economic, trade and investment relationships. During their meeting, the two leaders held talks on a wide range of bilateral and global issues.

"Our strategic partnership with South Africa is based on mutuality of interests, common aspirations and close mutual understanding. Today, President Zuma and I have decided to impart a fresh, forward-looking character to these ties and to further broaden our co-operation," said Dr Singh.

The two nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation, an air services pact and an MoU between the Foreign Service Institute of India and the Diplomatic Academy of South Africa.

Dr Singh further said that the two countries would also diversify cooperation in the area of science and technology, agriculture, Human Resources Development and security.

"India remains willing to work with South Africa in addressing the sheer challenges of capacity building, skill development, jobs creation and combating disease, which are essential for achieving inclusive, balanced growth," he added.

The visiting President expressed his gratitude towards India's hospitality and concluded the discussions to be fruitful.

"We have had a very fruitful discussion. We have discussed very critical strategic issues as well as our issues with regard to global issues and bilateral issues," said President Zuma.

The two leaders also decided to support each other's candidature for rotating non-permanent seats in the United Nations Security Council for 2011-12.

"We have agreed to support each others candidature for the non-permanent seat of the Security Council for the 2011-2012 term," said Dr Singh.

The South African President, who is on his first official trip to Asia, arrived in New Delhi from Mumbai on Thursday.

He is accompanied by a high profile business delegation to promote and strengthen the historical and business ties between both countries. (ANI)

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