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South African navy to host Russian, Chinese counterparts for maritime exercise

South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor speaks to members of the media in Pretoria, South Africa, Aug. 8, 2022. Russia and China will conduct naval drills in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa in February 2023 in another indication of their strengthening relationships with Africa's most developed country amid the war in Ukraine and global financial uncertainty. The announcement also comes days before Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is due to visit South Africa and hold talks with South African counterpart Pandor.[AP]

 South Africa will host the naval forces from China and Russia during the multilateral maritime exercise scheduled to take place next month in Durban and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, according to the country's Ministry of Defense and Military Veterans.

 Known as Exercise Mosi II, the multilateral maritime exercise will take place from Feb. 17 to 27, and more than 350 South African soldiers will join their Chinese and Russian counterparts in the exercise, the ministry said in a statement released Sunday.

 "The envisaged exercise will benefit all countries involved through Interoperability of the naval systems, joint disaster systems management enhancement, maritime cooperation and anti-piracy exercises," Minister of Defense and Military Veterans Thandi Modise said in the statement.

 South Africa conducted the first exercise with naval forces from China and Russia in November 2019 in Cape Town.