Vladimir Putin had a meeting with President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.
Bilateral relations and their prospects, particularly in trade and the economy, were the subject of discussion.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
It is a great pleasure to meet with you on the sidelines of this summit in China.
It is well known that we have good, multifaceted relations that have developed over many years and with deep roots in the past.
We have spoken of late of the need to spread our good political and humanitarian ties to the economic sector. Sadly, the downward trend in our bilateral trade continues for now, though the pace has slowed down. The negative trend has weakened, but we have not yet fully overcome its effects.
I am pleased to have the chance to discuss these matters with you. We work actively together in all areas. We signed today an agreement on joint work on information security and we cooperate in a consolidated fashion in international organisations, particularly on the issue of continued efforts to enhance the UN’s activities and organisation.
It is a great pleasure to see you and to have this opportunity to exchange views on the steps we need to take to develop our relations.
President of South Africa Jacob Zuma: Thank you very much, Your Excellency Mr President, indeed it is good to meet once again on the sidelines of the group of BRICS. It is always wonderful to meet and have time to talk about a variety of issues.
It is also true, I agree with you, that our relations date back many years, and we have had this relationship, very strong, all the time. Of course, with time it is always important to strengthen the relations, so that they are even more stronger.
It is also true that whilst we are cooperating on a number of issues, but there has been a situation globally that interfered with the flow of our relations. I think the time has come that we pick up also and do more in the relationships, in terms of what we do together.
One of the issues that was delayed is your visit to South Africa, because I have issued an invitation. I am sure that I am going to revive that and I am sure that we look into it again afresh with the kind of new situation.
Vladimir Putin: We will do that indeed, thank you very much.
Jacob Zuma: Thank you very much indeed. I am very happy. We will have more time to discuss a number of issues. Just happy to see you and your delegation again on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting.
Vladimir Putin: We will certainly do this. Thank you very much.