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Sharma calls on Mbeki, discusses UN reforms

Bilateral issues and UN reforms have prominently figured in the talks between SA's President and India's Minister of State for External Affairs.
None | By Press Trust of India, Durban
UPDATED ON MAR 26, 2006 03:58 AM IST

Bilateral issues and UN reforms have prominently figured in the talks between South African President Thabo M'beki and India's Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma.

The meeting, also attended by South Africa's Defence Minister MG Patrick Lekota and Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad, took place yesterday in Pretoria as Mbeki invited Sharma for a lunch.

The Indian High Commission here called the invitation an "extraordinarily gracious gesture" as Mbeki took time off from a session of the National Executive Committee of African National Congress to hold talks with Sharma.

The President and Indian Minister also discussed about NAM meeting scheduled later this year and preparations for India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) trilateral ministerial forum in Brazil, a High Commission release said.

Earlier, Sharma also held talks with the Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad in which the programme for centenary celebrations of the launch of Satyagraha by Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa was discussed.

He also held talks with Minister of Public Services and Administration Geraldine Fraser Moleket, Minister for Public Enterprises Alec Erwin and Aziz Pahad.

"The Minister discussed collaboration in the area of capacity building in the public service sector, co-operation among public sector enterprises of the two countries, IBSA meet and bilateral, regional and international issues," the release said.

He also attended a conference of the Indian Heads of Missions from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Sharma will leave South Africa for Brazil today to attend the third Ministerial conference of the Indian-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) grouping.

Meanwhile, Minister for Shipping, Maritime and Transport, TR Baalu visited the Sun City on Sunday.

During his four-day visit Baalu signed a shipping and maritime agreement with his South African counterpart Jeff Radebe.

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