EAM to visit South Africa, Namibia; to attend BRICS FM meet

Dr Jaishankar’s visit to Namibia will be the first by any Indian external affairs minister

NEW DELHI | Updated: 31 May, 2023 1:28 pm IST
External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: External affairs minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar will attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting during his three-day visit to South Africa which begins Thursday. He will also visit neighbouring Namibia.

EAM Dr Jaishankar will be in South Africa between June 1 and June 3, and depart for Namibia for an official visit which will conclude on June 6, according to the ministry of external affairs (MEA).

In addition, he will also hold a bilateral meeting with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting in Cape Town. He will also meet the South African president and is expected to engage in bilateral discussions with other BRICS foreign ministers and ministers from participating ‘Friends of BRICS’ countries on June 2.

Furthermore, he will interact with the Indian diaspora in Cape Town, said the MEA.

His visit to Namibia will be the first ever by any Indian external affairs minister. During his stay, EAM Dr Jaishankar will hold meetings with the country’s top leadership and other government ministers. He will also co-chair the inaugural session of the joint commission meeting with Namibian deputy PM and foreign minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

Additionally, he will interact with the Indian diaspora residing in Namibia. A further statement emphasized that the EAM’s visit to South Africa and Namibia aims to strengthen India’s bilateral relations with the two countries.

African nations have been at the Centre of the Modi’s government’s foreign initiatives. India set up 18 new Indian missions in Africa between 2018 and 2021.

BRICS refers to the emerging-market bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. This grouping holds strategic importance as it brings together major emerging economies, representing 41 per cent of the world population, 24 per cent of the world GDP, and over 16 per cent share in world trade.

Over time, BRICS countries have united to deliberate on significant issues under the pillars of political and security, economic and financial, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

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