India will host the next summit of IBSA (India, Brazil South Africa) in New Delhi next year, giving importance to the grouping notwithstanding the BRICS forum of which these countries are also members.
This was agreed to at a meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with South African President Jacob Zuma here last night on the sidelines of the summit BRICS leaders held with South American leaders.
Both leaders recognised the importance of IBSA as a forum of members who have long established democracies and similarities of views on various matters of international agenda of political and economic consequences.
The dates will be decided in consultation with each other, Dinkar Khullar, Secretary West in the External Affairs ministry told reporters travelling with the Prime Minister on the way back to India.
It was also decided that the meeting of India Africa Forum (IAF) will be held in December in Delhi this year.
During the meeting, Zuma spoke of the long-standing relationship between South Africa and India and the respect Mahatma Gandhi has in his country. Modi also spoke of the regard people of India have for the late anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
Zuma said the two countries have a strong engagement in view of the fact that the Indian diaspora is 1.5 million strong in South Africa with the Indian population in Durban being the single largest Indian community outside India.