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Zuma indicates warmth in ties with India

Without India's participation, his swearing-in would have been incomplete, South Africa's new President Jacob Zuma has told visiting Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, indicating the warmth in bilateral ties.

world Updated: May 10, 2009 17:11 IST

Without India's participation, his swearing-in would have been incomplete, South Africa's new President Jacob Zuma has told visiting Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, indicating the warmth in bilateral ties.

Zuma, 67, who was inaugurated as the fourth democratically elected President of South Africa since the abolition of apartheid in 1994, thanked all those present for gracing the solemn occasion and told Ansari separately that his inauguration would not have been complete without the participation of India.

Felicitating Zuma on his assumption of the high office, Vice President Hamid Ansari invited him to India.

Ansari, accompanied by his wife Salma, had an extended "pull aside" with Zuma during a luncheon for the visiting heads of state and other dignitaries, who were in South Africa to witness the inauguration ceremony in capital Pretoria.

"The Vice President had a warm meeting with Zuma," Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Nalin Surie, told reporters.

Ansari conveyed felicitations and good wishes from the people of India to the new South African President and invited him to visit the country, Surie said.