Sushma Swaraj emplanes for South Africa to attend BRICS, IBSA


New Delhi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday emplaned for South Africa, to participate in BRICS and IBSA Ministerial Meetings and also commemorate the Making of Mahatma Gandhi at Pietermaritzburg. Her tour will conclude on June 7.During the visit, the Minister is expected to have meetings with the top leadership of South Africa. Ms Swaraj will participate in the BRICS Foreign Ministers Meeting on June 4 and chair the IBSA Foreign Ministers Meeting, the Ministry of External Affairs said. On June 6, she will visit the Phoenix Settlement, a South African Heritage site, marking the place that served as Gandhiji’s home, where he developed his philosophy of non-violence. The Minister would also participate in a series of events on June 6-7 at Pietermaritzburg, to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of the historic incident in the train compartment, which became a catalyst for Gandhiji's Satyagraha movement. The two-day commemoration activities will also include release of joint commemorative stamps on Oliver Tambo and Pt Deen Dayal Upadhayaa and a Youth Summit, where 20 diaspora youth from Africa and five from India will participate, to speak on the relevance of Gandhiji's message of peace to the youth of today, it added. The year 2018 is an important year for India-South Africa relations, as it marks 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the 125th anniversary of the Pietermaritzburg railway station incident and the 100th Birth Centenary of South African iconic leader, Nelson Mandela.