In the first formal pact of this kind it has entered into, the Congress on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African National Congress (ANC) to set up an institutional mechanism to facilitate regular exchanges between their youth, women and trade union organisations towards the larger objective of strengthening party-to-party relations.
Signed by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and ANC president Jacob G. Zuma on Tuesday, the MoU comes into immediate effect and will remain in force unless either party expresses a wish to discontinue it. The process of exchange of delegation between the world’s two oldest parties will begin with the ANC’s Youth League and Women League visiting India in the second half of the year.
Talks for establishing party-to-party relations were initiated when Sonia went to South Africa in August 2007, said Dr Karan Singh, Rajya Sabha member and head of the AICC's Foreign Affairs department who had participated in the delegation
Besides Mahatma Gandhi, the two parties also have a historic relationship based on shared colonial experiences and a united struggle against apartheid.