Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Cape Town [South Africa], June 1 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the sidelines of the BRICS Ministerial in Cape Town, South Africa.

The meeting comes when the West is constantly trying to make India pick sides in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Earlier on May 21, PM Modi met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima and assured him to resolve the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv. This was the first meeting between the two leaders since the Russia-Ukraine conflict that began on February 24 last year.

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar is on an official visit to African countries, South Africa and Namibia from June 1 to 6 June 2023.

The EAM is visiting South Africa to participate in the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting being held in Capetown.

Besides attending the meeting he will also hold a bilateral meeting with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor.

Jaishankar will call on the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa and is expected to hold bilateral meetings with other BRICS Foreign Ministers, as well as, 'Friends of BRICS' Ministers. He will also have an interaction with the Indian diaspora in Capetown, added the statement.

EAM will thereafter visit Namibia from June 4 to June 6. This will be the first visit by an External Affairs Minister of India to Namibia.

During the visit, EAM will call on the country's top leadership and meet with other Ministers of the Government, the government release informed.

EAM will also co-chair the inaugural Session of the Joint Commission Meeting with the Namibian Deputy Prime Minister/ Foreign Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah. He will also interact with the Indian diaspora based in Namibia.

EAM's visit to South Africa and Namibia is expected to strengthen further India's strong bilateral relations with these two countries.

Notably, India and China are developing their engagements with Africa proactively.

While China has been in Africa's infrastructure, mining, oil and natural gas sectors for many years, India, despite moving late, has worked through training, education and capacity-building programmes - which have been very well-received by the countries.

Recently, the Union Cabinet has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four-year period from 2018-2021. This move is seen as a major boost to India-Africa relations. (ANI)

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