Ivanov Expected In South Africa On Friday Evening

The visit by Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to the South African Republic will start Friday. His plane is due to land at the Waterkloof air base near Pretoria on December 14. This will be the first visit to South Africa by a Russian official of such a high profile. The agenda of the minister's visit includes talks with South African Foreign Minister Ms Dlamini-Zuma, initialling a bilateral agreement on friendship and cooperation, along with signing a protocol on cooperation in the sphere of arts and culture in 2002-2004. The Russian Foreign Minister is expected to meet the incumbent South African President Tabo Mbeki and the first "post-apartheid" South African President Nelson Mandela. Ivanov is also due to put a stone into the foundation of the first Russian Orthodox church, whose construction was recently launched near Pretoria. The Russian delegation's visit is to last till December 17.

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