Sushma Swaraj leaves for South Africa today

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Saturday embarked on a five-day visit to South Africa to attend BRICS and IBSA Ministerial meetings.

BRICS is a grouping of five countries-Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and IBSA is a tripartite grouping of India, Brazil, South Africa.

“During the visit, External Affairs Minister is expected to have meetings with top leadership of South Africa. EAM will participate in the BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting on June 4 and chair the IBSA Foreign Ministers Meeting,” a statement, issued, by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) read.

On June 6, EAM will visit the Phoenix Settlement, a South African Heritage site, a place where Mahatma Gandhi developed his philosophy of non-violence.

She would also participate in a series of events on June 6-7 at Pietermaritzburg, South Africa to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the “historic incident in the train compartment that became a catalyst for Gandhiji’s Satyagraha movement.”

“The two-day commemoration activities will also include the release of joint commemorative stamps on Oliver Tambo and Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayaa and a Youth Summit where 20 diaspora youth from Africa and 5 from India will participate to speak on the relevance of Gandhiji’s message of peace to the youth of today,” the statement added.

The year marks the 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.

It also marks the 125th anniversary of the Pietermaritzburg railway station incident and the 100th Birth Centenary of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

The visit of EAM will further strengthen “close and long-standing ties with South Africa.”(ANI)