The Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa Nqakula - MP, is on official visit to the Russian Federation to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries in the area of Defence.
The visit to the Russian Federation by the South African Minister of Defence is also part of Minister Mapisa Nqakula's preparations for the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Summit that will be held in South Africa in March 2013.
The Minister and her delegation held two meetings with the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and the Defence Deputy Minister respectively. The two countries have agreed to pursue further discussions on possible cooperation and exchange programs in the areas defence training and technical fields.
Speaking from Moscow, Minister Mapisaâ€Nqakula expressed her satisfaction with the biâ€lateral discussions so far. Minister Mapisaâ€Nqakula added, "this engagement is the start of even greater cooperation between the two defence forces. The Russian Federation is a natural partner for South Africa following the immense and selfless contribution that the Russian people have made in our struggle for liberation (in South Africa).
The Minister further stated, "It is our intentions that beyond the BRICS summit our senior officials will take forward the initial discussions we had here and translate them into various cooperation agreements." The next official visit for the Minister will be to India, also a member State of BRICS next month.
Issued by: Department of Defence