May 082012

New Delhi, May 8: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil said India-South Africa trade and economic cooperation has been extensive and has seen robust growth in recent years.

She just returned to New Delhi today after wrapping up her nine-day state visit to Seychelles and South Africa.

“The trade turnover target of 10 billion US Dollars has been achieved and a new target of 15 billion US Dollars is to be achieved by 2014,” she added.

She said her visit to both South Africa and Seychelles had helped to forge stronger ties, and added that both nations respect the good relations they add with India.

Talking to media on board her special aircraft, Patil said her visit to Seychelles underscored the importance of the strong bonds of friendship and strength of the bilateral relations with this strategically located country in the Indian Ocean.

“I have already stated some of the things in my statement. We have really good relations with both the countries and both these nations respect this. We felt that both these nations have a lot of respect and love for our country and we have reaffirmed our commitment towards these two countries during our discussions. We seek to strengthen our ties with both these nations,” she added.

She went around the settlement and paid floral tribute before a bust of Mahatma Gandhi.

She also visited the house where Gandhi resided and it was reconstructed after it was destroyed in 1985 during the riots.

Patil further said that she has still not decided as to what her address would be post-retirement.

“I will inform you about my postal address, once it is decided,” Patil said.

Patil on Sunday went down the memory lane recalling pages from history after visiting the Phoenix Settlement at Durban in South Africa, established by Mahatma Gandhi in 1904.(ANI)

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