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Sharma calls on Mbeki, enroute to IBSA meet

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 25 (UNI) Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma today met South African President Thabo Mbeki and discussed various bilateral issues as well as issues of common concern in the global context including UN reforms, the IBSA meet and the NAM Summit later this year.

President Mbeki invited Mr Sharma, whoi is en-route to Rio de Janeiro for the third India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Ministerial Commission meeting, to have lunch, taking time off from a session of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress for the meeting.

Other members of the South African government present at the lunch were the Defence Minister and the Deputy Foreign Minister, a release from the Indian Mission there said.

Earlier in Johannesburg, Mr Sharma had a meeting with his counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister of South Africa, Aziz Pahad.

The two Ministers discussed issues of bilateral, regional and international interest, including preparations for the Ministerial meeting of IBSA.

He also met Dr Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency, to discuss the programme for celebration of the centenary of launch of Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa.

South African Minister of Public Services&Administration, Geraldine Fraser Moleketi and Minister for Public Enterprises Alec Erwin also met Mr Sharma. During these meetings, they discussed collaboration in the area of capacity building in the public service sector and co-operation among public sector enterprises of the two countries.

At a reception hosted by the Indian High Commissioner, the Minister met a large number of local dignitaries including leaders from the Indian origin community and Indian businessmen.

Mr Sharma was also to address a conference of the Indian Heads of Missions from SADC countries today.

UNI VD LR KN2314

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