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Swaraj meets South African, Ivory Coast leaders

PTI 04 Nov 2014, 20:29:32 PM IST

New Delhi: Ways to intensify bilateral engagements in diverse areas including trade and business figured prominently during talks External Affairs Sushma Swaraj held with leaders from South Africa and Coté d'Ivoire.

In her meeting with Prime Minister Daniel Kalian Duncan of Cote d'Ivoire, Swaraj discussed bilateral and global issues and possible areas of cooperation between the two countries.

Relations between India and Cote d'Ivoire have traditionally been cordial. The bilateral trade was USD 463 million in 2012-13.

India imports cashew and other nuts, manganese ores, scrap metals, rubber etc from Cote d'Ivoire which is the second largest exporter of cashew nut in the world. India imports around 80 per cent cashew nuts from Ivory Coast.

The main items of India's export are cereals (rice), pharmaceutical products, machinery, articles of iron, chemicals, plastics, rubber products, vehicles etc.

Swaraj also held talks with South Africa's Minister for Human Settlements Lindiwe Nonceba Sisulu and discussed various bilateral issues.

Sisulu said the “purpose of this visit is a gesture from South African government to thank its Indian counterpart for all the help and support it has extended in our struggle for liberation.”

The minister said bilateral relations between India and South Africa are a priority for South African government with the two nations sharing a lot of commonalities.

“India is our closest ally in the Asian continent. We have commonality in our approach and we intend to keep it like that,” she said.