Opening remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during talks with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Moscow, April 20, 2016
Madam Dlamini Zuma, friends,
We are pleased to welcome you to Moscow.
We meet regularly, which is good for our efforts to step up and deepen Russian-African cooperation, which we really appreciate. We signed a memorandum between Russia and the African Union Commission (AUC) to establish a mechanism for regular political consultations in Addis Ababa in September 2014. This certainly was helpful for promoting our political dialogue. Numerous consultations have been held since then. We received the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security in Moscow. Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, special presidential representative for the Middle East and Africa, regularly travels to Addis Ababa. In addition to other meetings, he took part in the recent session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government. We are aware that its participants decided to elect President of the Republic of Chad Idriss Deby Itno as President of the African Union (AU). We know that he seeks to further advance our partnership and to ensure continuity of Russia-AU relations to promote peace and stability on the African continent, as well as sustainable development of all the countries in the region.
We stand in solidarity with the AUC’s position in regard to the inextricable link that exists between peace, security and sustainable development. This position fully meets our priorities, and is reflected in Russia’s policies in Africa. We seek to further deepen our partnership both bilaterally and as members of the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO.
Madam Chairperson, you and the Russian side have specific ideas on how to cooperate in all areas, such as trade, the economy, investment, humanitarian relations and, of course, cooperation in resolving conflicts on the continent. We look forward to discussing it all in detail today.