South African Foreign Minister to visit Russia

South Africa's Foreign Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma arrives on July 18th on a four-day visit to Russia. Talks with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov will examine "basic trends in the world in the context of global challenges and threats," Alexander Yakovenko, an official Foreign Ministry spokesman, told RIA Novosti.

According to him, the talks will also focus on Africa. The ministers plan to analyse the ways of ensuring a steady development of African countries and -- in this connection -- prospects for the New Partnership for Africa's Development /NEPAD/ programme. Moscow has confirmed its principled support for this programme, the Russian diplomat said.

The negotiations will also deal with the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity into the African Union and ways of regulating conflicts on the African continent.

The Russian and South African ministers will also discuss how to re-energise bilateral ties, including trade and economic ones.

As seen by the Russian spokesman, the visit will serve "to deepen mutual understanding" between Russia and South Africa and "cement the spirit of partnership when working together in the international arena".

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