Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is glad to have an opportunity to “compare notes” on foreign policy issues with his South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. He said as much opening the talks.
“We know that the main purpose of your visit is to hold a meeting of the bilateral committee on trade cooperation, but I am glad that we have an opportunity to “compare notes” on the foreign policy agenda,” he said.
Lavrov recalled that during the meeting of the Russian and South African leaders in Moscow on May 9 and on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Ufa important tasks were set before the governments of the two countries. “It is important to discuss the issues prioritized by the two leaders,” he added.
According to the Russian Foreign Minister, relations between Pretoria and Moscow “were developing steadily.” “Our relations are based on the 2012 Declaration on strategic partnership. We want to take it to a practical dimension,” he added.
For her part, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said she was glad to be in Moscow and to have an opportunity to exchange views on bilateral and international issues. According to her, South African President Jacob Zuma hopes that Vladimir Putin will consider the possibility of his visit to South Africa next year.
She also expressed condolences on behalf of the South African people on the Russian plane crash over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.