India, SA issue joint declaration

The statement follows talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2006 13:33 IST

Following is the full text of the Tshwane Declaration—Tshwane is the new name of Pretoria—issued after the first substantive talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South African President Thabo Mbeki in Pretoria on Monday:

In commemorating the centenary of the launch of Satyagraha, and in the spirit of the strategic partnership that was established during the historic visit of South Africa's first democratically elected President, Nelson R Mandela to India in March 1997 and carried further by the visit to India by President TM Mbeki in October 2003 and the visit to South Africa by President APJ Abdul Kalam in September 2004, South Africa and India reaffirm their commitment to a global order of peace, equality and justice.

President Thabo Mbeki and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid tribute to the global role played by Mahatma Gandhi through the implementation of the principles of truth, non-violence and self-sacrifice, as enshrined in the philosophy of Satyagraha.

Gandhi's influence was felt throughout the world and inspired numerous leaders and renowned personalities like Martin Luther King, Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

It was the unflinching spirit of Mahatma Gandhi that contributed decisively towards the demise of the British Raj; similarly it inspired the struggle against apartheid, particularly during the Defiance Campaign.

Above all, it was the strong message of non-violence contained in Gandhi's Satyagraha that helped to bring about a peaceful transformation in South Africa and the realisation of truth and reconciliation between the destructive human divisions that had been spawned by apartheid.

In sharing the fundamental values espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, President Mbeki and Prime Minister Singh stress their continued and unfaltering belief in the peaceful resolution of disputes and the recognition of the rights of nations to self-determination and freedom.

President Mbeki and Prime Minister Singh express their belief that South Africa and India draw their strength and inspiration from the diverse, multi-cultural societies constituting their respective nations; and that the best assurance for continued peace and prosperity lies in the adherence to democratic governance that is rooted in the respect for human dignity and the fundamental rights of all people, as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The two national leaders furthermore reaffirmed their belief in the growing partnership with the signing of the following bilateral agreements/MOUs:

•Co-operation in the Field of Education
•MOU between Spoornet and Railways

They furthermore noted that the following agreements will be signed imminently, once the regulatory procedures have been completed:

•Exemption of Visa Requirements for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports
•Programme of Co-operation in Science and Technology

First Published: Oct 02, 2006 18:50 IST