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India, S Africa to conduct joint Naval exercise

India and South Africa on Thursday decided to hold joint Naval exercises and fixed a new trade target of $15 billion to be achieved by next year as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Jacob Zuma met in Sanya and discussed ways to boost overall ties.

world Updated: Apr 14, 2011 21:28 IST

India and South Africa on Thursday decided to hold joint Naval exercises and fixed a new trade target of $15 billion to be achieved by next year as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Jacob Zuma met in Sanya and discussed ways to boost overall ties.

During the 45-minute meeting on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Zuma also informed Singh about his government's intention to invite President Pratibha Patil and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to his country.

The two leaders discussed a number of issues including bilateral defence and economic ties, UN reforms and developments in Libya and Ivory Coast, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry Manbir Singh told reporters in Sanya.

Talking about the defence ties, the two leaders felt that these could be further strengthened, Manbir Singh said.

In this context, it was decided that the two countries would hold Naval exercises, the second such joint manoeuvres.

While taking stock of the trade ties, the two leaders expressed satisfaction over the progress made.

It was noted that the two countries were well on way to achieve the trade target of $12 billion by next year and it was hence revised to $15 billion, Manbir Singh said.

Zuma said an invitation would be extended to the Indian President to visit South Africa next year. South Africa also intends to invite Gandhi to attend the centenary celebrations of the African National Congress, the Secretary said, adding the Prime Minister said the Indian government would be responding appropriately.

Zuma also hailed India's victory in the World Cup cricket and said he had anticipated it after India's win in South Africa.