South Africa’s Foreign Minister visits Russia

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South African Foreign Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Monday arrived in Moscow, where she will hold discussions with Russian Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev, as part of the South Africa-Russia Inter-sessional Inter-governmental Trade and Economic Committee (ITEC) Tuesday.

Mrs. Zuma will co-chair the ITEC meeting, bothering on South Africa’s commitment to consolidate bilateral political, economic and trade relations with Russia. South Africa attaches great value to the deliberations of ITEC, which has proven to be an important strategic vehicle through which the country’s bilateral relationship with Russia continued to be consolidated and further strengthened.

A treaty of friendship and partnership to strengthen relationship between the two countries was signed in September 2006 during the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to South Africa. South Africa and Russia also co-operate in multi-lateral fora, since South Africa is a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

The inter-sessional ITEC meeting will lay the basis for the full-fledged ITEC, to be hosted by Russia in May 2008. Progress is especially notable in the areas of mining and strategic minerals a nd most recently in the fields of astronomy and outer space research.

In addition, the Russia is well equipped in assisting South Africa with relevant information transfer and skills development. A number of joint projects between Russian companies and South Africa have been established.

The successful involvement of Russia in the Kalahari, through the Kalahari Manganese Project, between the Renova State Company and the South African company ” Pitsaya Seschaba,” has created more interest in investments into South African’s aluminium, metallurgy, solid mineral exploration and energy manufacturing sectors.

Mrs Zuma will Wednesday hold discussions with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak before concluding her visit to Russia. She is scheduled to return to South Africa Thursday 2008 ahead of bilateral po litical, economic and trade relations with her Kuwaiti counterpart in Cape Town 1 9 February 2008.

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