Johannesburg: In a rare event, the envoys of India, Pakistan and China presented their credentials simultaneously to South African President Jacob Zuma.
At the event, Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Kamboj and her Pakistani counterpart Sohail Khan sat next to each other while Chinese Ambassador Lin Songtian sat opposite them.
There was no hint of the current tensions between India and its two neighbours at the event where President Zuma welcomed the diplomats alongside their counterparts from Israel, Chile, Spain, Uganda and Ghana at the State Guest House in Pretoria.
Ambassador Lior Keinan of Israel, India’s newest partner after a recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was seated next to Kamboj.
“I am confident that you will contribute towards enhanced mutual beneficial relations between our countries and further strengthen our people to people interaction during your tenure,” Zuma told the diplomats.
“Your presence here today bears a testimony of growing interconnectedness and mutual friendship of our countries and people.”
Zuma called on the ambassadors to join in the fight against global challenges.
“Our world is characterised by growing insecurity which is caused by multiple factors such as increased inequality, competition for scarce resources and violent acts of terrorism, among others.
“It is a well-known fact that technological advancement has ushered positive changes as well as threats of increasing cybercrime, for instance.
“It is therefore our collective responsibility to work towards the realisation of a peaceful and a prosperous world in which humanity can thrive.”
Zuma also called for the strengthening of economic relations with the respective countries represented for mutual benefit.