PM announces four-day visit to South Africa
Manmohan Singh will be accompanied by a business delegation and is slated to hold talks with President Thabo Mbeki.india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 22:59 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to arrive in South Africa on September 30 for a four-day official visit aimed at consolidating political and economic relations between the two countries, it was announced on Friday.
Manmohan Singh will be accompanied by a business delegation and is slated to hold talks with President Thabo Mbeki and senior South African government officials.
"South Africa and India have similar developmental challenges ...as a key emerging regional economy, India provides a platform for the reintegration of the South African economy with that of South Asia," foreign affairs spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said in a statement.
The Indian prime minister is also scheduled to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi with a train journey to the city of Pietermaritzburg, tracing the path Gandhi travelled as a young lawyer more than a century ago during the years he spent in South Africa.
Manmohan Singh and Mbeki will commemorate the centenary of the founding of Satyagraha-Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent resistance applied in his campaigns against racial injustice in South Africa and later to oppose British rule in India.
The Indian leader's visit comes less than two weeks after a trip to India by South African Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka that saw the two nations pledge to raise bilateral trade to $12 billion by 2010.