International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane arrived in Ahmedabad, Republic of India, today, 7 January 2015, to represent South Africa at an event marking 100 years of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa to India.
The occasion, known as the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), is also celebrated as the Day of Indians in the Diaspora. The PBD is celebrated since 2003 on 09 January to mark the contribution of the Overseas Indian Community in the development of India.
South Africa’s participation in the event is of special significance due to the historic links with Mahatma Gandhi and the fact that South Africa is home to the largest community of Indians outside of India.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s visit also offers an opportunity to engage with her Indian counterpart, H.E. Sushma Swaraj, on the revitalisation of bilateral relations between South Africa and India.
South Africa and India established full diplomatic relations in November 1993. In 1997, the first visit by a South African Head of State to India took place when President Nelson Mandela laid the foundation of a strategic partnership between the two countries. This visit was followed by several high-level visits, the last being President Zuma’s visit to India in 2010 and President Patil’s visit to South Africa in 2012.
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SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS