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Manmohan concludes South Africa visit

india Updated: Oct 03, 2006 15:20 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left here on Tuesday after a four-day visit to South Africa that resulted in deepening bilateral strategic ties and securing support for India's case for nuclear fuel supplies.

Besides participating in the centenary celebrations of Mahatama Gandhi's Satyagraha movement, the Prime Minister held intensive discussions with South African President Thabo Mbeki on issues relating to international terrorism, UN reforms, India's need for nuclear energy as well as ways and means of enhancing bilateral trade ties.

After talks with the Prime Minister on Monday, Mbeki announced that South Africa supported India's case for nuclear fuel supplies.

The two countries also agreed to work for joint research and development in the defence sector.

South Africa, a member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), has "no problems" in supporting India's case once the Indo-US nuclear deal of July 18 last year is approved by the US Congress, Mbeki said.

A joint declaration after talks between the two leaders here said all states had the inalienable right to peaceful application of nuclear energy consistent with their international legal obligations.

The two countries decided to explore approaches for cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards, an indicator that Pretoria would cooperate with India in nuclear fuel supplies if Indo-US deal takes effect.

During his two-day stay in Durban, Singh also visited memorials to the Mahatma, including a tour of the settlement established by Gandhi in 1904 on the outskirts of Durban.

He and the South African President also attended a ceremony to celebrate the centenary of the Satyagraha at the Kingsmead stadium.

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