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Sonia Gandhi meets Nelson Mandela

world Updated: Aug 22, 2007 20:25 IST
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India's Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday met former South African president Nelson Mandela during the second day of her trip to South Africa.

After meeting South Africa's first democratically elected president at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Gandhi said she was honoured to meet the man who had led the campaign against apartheid rule.

"It is a privilege, a visit to South Africa wouldn't be complete without calling on Madiba (Mandela)," SAPA reported Gandhi as saying.

Gandhi was also scheduled to hold talks with President Thabo Mbeki on Wednesday and speak at the University of Cape Town on Thursday.

The speech is to launch a worldwide series of speeches in which she is to discuss the significance of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived for many years in Durban, and the importance of his vision of non-violence in today's world.

The Indian leader's visit aims "to strengthen and consolidate political, economic, trade and cultural relations between the peoples of South Africa and India."

South Africa and India regard themselves as strategic partners for development but also with regard to their historical ties.