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India, S Africa exchange documents on extradition treaty
December 06, 2005 19:33 IST
India and South Africa on Tuesday exchanged ratification documents of Extradition Treaty and Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance, as the two sides concluded a Joint Ministerial Commission meeting in New Delhi.
The two-day meeting, which is the sixth, of the Commission decided to set up two sub-committees in the fields of Communications and IT and Human Resource Development in view of the substantial potential for cooperation existing in these areas.
The two sides agreed to undertake joint initiatives in commemoration of the centenary celebrations next year of the launch of Satyagraha Movement by Mahatma Gandhi on September 11, 1906 in South Africa.
At the end of the meeting, co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh and South African Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aziz Pahad, the two countries exchanged Instruments of Ratification of the Extradition Treaty and the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance, enabling these to come into effect.
The two sides stressed the need for early conclusion of the Preferential Trade Agreement between India and South Africa to give further impetus to bilateral trade.
Speaking at the meeting, Singh emphasised that India and South Africa had a commonality of views on most of the issues concerning United Nations reforms.
He expressed hope that the African Union would agree with the G-4 (India, Brazil, Japan and Germany) that an early expansion, which brings in developing countries, including two from Africa, as permanent members, is in the continent's best interest and that South Africa will work closely with India towards this end.
The South African minister emphasised the vital importance of efforts to strengthen the UN system, including the need for balance in an expanded Security Council, progress regarding implementation of Millennium Development Goals and World Trade Organisation Ministerial Meeting to be held in Hong Kong.
The two sides discussed a wide range of global issues, including international economic relations, the Hong Kong WTO meeting and South-South cooperation, including the new Afro-Asian Strategic Partnership.
Other important matters discussed included the prospects of economic development, stability and security on the African continent. Singh highlighted the scourge of terrorism and emphasised the need for both the countries to develop institutional linkages to counter the menace.
The two sides expressed satisfaction at the progress in cooperation under the IBSA (India, Brazil and South Africa) Dialogue Forum.
The Ministers agreed that the decision to hold a summit-level IBSA meeting in 2006 in Brazil would further consolidate this unique trilateral cooperation.
Singh pointed to India's participation in pan-continental and regional initiatives, where South Africa has a leading role.
He particularly referred to President A P J Abdul Kalam's announcement to undertake the electronic and knowledge connectivity mission for Africa. India has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union towards this and invited South Africa to participate in the project.
Pahad expressed appreciation for India's gesture and said that global realities demand that India and South Africa consolidate sustained efforts to achieve a shared vision of a more prosperous, equitable and peaceful global order.