External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj on June 4 arrived here on a five-day visit to South Africa during which she will meet top leadership of the country and will also attend meetings of BRICS and IBSA – the two major groupings where India has been playing a key role.
Swaraj will also attend a series of events marking the 125th anniversary of the historic incident where a young Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a train compartment in Pietermaritzburg railway station. The 1893 incident proved to be a turning point in Gandhi’s fight against racial discrimination in South Africa.
During the visit, Swaraj will participate in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Foreign Ministers’ meeting on June 4 which is expected to lay the foundation for the annual summit of the grouping in Johannesburg next month.
She will also chair a meeting of Foreign Ministers of IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), another bloc working to deepen coordination among the three countries on major global issues.
On June 6, Swaraj will visit the Phoenix settlement where Mahatma Gandhi had developed his philosophy of non-violence, the MEA said.
It said the two-day commemoration activities will also include release of joint commemorative stamps on Oliver Tambo and Deen Dayal Upadhayaa and a Youth Summit where 20 diaspora youth from Africa and five from India will speak on the relevance of Gandhiji’s message of peace to the youth of today.
“The year 2018 is an important year for India-South Africa relations as it marks the 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the 125th anniversary of the Pietermaritzburg railway station incident and the 100th birth centenary of South African iconic leader, Nelson Mandela,” the MEA said.
“The visit of External Affairs Minister will further strengthen our close and long standing ties with South Africa,” the MEA said.
(With ANI Inputs)