Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: South Africa’s top diplomat defends planned military drills with Russia and China

South Africa’s foreign minister deflected criticism of joint military drills planned with Russia and China, saying that hosting such exercises with “friends” was the “natural course of relations.” (https://neuters.de/world/africa/russias-lavrov-visits-ally-south-africa-amid-western-rivalry-2023-01-23/) Naledi Pandor made her comments during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was visiting South Africa 11 months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A South African official, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak, said Lavrov would afterwards visit Eswatini, Botswana and Angola. In Washington, the White House expressed worry about South Africa’s military plans.

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