New Delhi and Pretoria will discuss permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council, closer defence ties and expansion of the Brazil-Russia-India-China grouping during Jacob Zuma's first visit here after taking over as President of South Africa.
“These issues would be at the heart of discussions when the two principals [Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr. Zuma] meet on June 4,” the newly appointed South African High Commissioner, Mbulelo Harris Majeke, told journalists here on Thursday. “There are indications that we could be moving towards a positive conclusion. But who can tell what the principals will decide?”
However, he discounted the possibility of the two sides holding talks on nuclear cooperation. Pretoria was hampered by the Treaty of Pelindaba, which prohibits African nations from nuclear commerce with countries that have not signed the NPT.
Of late there has been more interaction between leaders of the two countries beyond state visits; they interact also on regional and multilateral fora.
Apart from international politics, economics will be a key focus area during Mr. Zuma's visit. Along with a delegation of corporate chiefs and half a dozen Ministers, he will interact with India Inc. in Mumbai and Delhi.
Mr. Zuma, who was here previously as Deputy President and president of the African National Congress, has extended his visit by a day to interact with African heads of mission accredited to India and deliver the Nelson Mandela lecture. He will launch a book From Dutch South Africa to the Republic of South Africa, 1652-1994 written by Prof. Daleep Singh.
Mr. Majeke announced free visas during the football World Cup to people who meet the criteria, including the presentation of the match.
He urged football lovers to plan their visit well in advance despite the beefing up of the High Commission's immigration and consular section.