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PRETORIA, May 14 (Itar-Tass) - The President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma will undertake a working visit to the Russian Federation on May 16, South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim told a news conference on Tuesday.
President Zuma will be accompanied by a delegation of Cabinet ministers that includes International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Tourism Minister Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters.
Ebrahim recalled that during Putin’s recent working visit to South Africa in March 2013, eight agreements in the fields of education, energy, defence, fisheries, mineral resources, transport and science and technology were signed. In addition, a number of business to business contracts were signed between South African and Russian companies.
Bilateral trade and investment has grown substantially in 2012. The signing of the above mentioned agreements provides an opportunity to further expand trade and investment and skills and technology exchange between the two countries, he said.
During the working visit to Sochi Zuma and Putin will review bilateral relations and exchange views on critical regional and global issues, Ebrahim said.
Russia’s special presidential envoy for cooperation with Africa, Mikhail Margelov, who is visiting the Republic of South Africa, told Itar-Tass that Russia attaches great importance to stronger relations with South Africa, its partner in the BRICS group.
“The fact that President Zuma will go to Sochi to meet Putin demonstrates that we take very seriously our relations with South Africa,” Margelov said.