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5 March 201818:06

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the opening ceremony for a memorial to soldiers performing international service in Angola, in Luanda on March 5, 2018

410-05-03-2018

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Mr Foreign Minister,

Mr Defence Minister,

Ambassadors of Cuba and Namibia, your Excellences,

Dear friends,

First of all, I would like to thank the Angola Veterans Union and the Russian Embassy in Luanda for this initiative.

Today, during my conversation with President of the Republic of Angola Joao Lourenco and talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Angola Manuel Augusto, we reaffirmed our shared memory of our nations’ wartime brotherhood, which allowed Angola to achieve liberation and independence.

The figures that tell the story of our assistance to Angola in its most difficult time, during the fight for independence, were given today. Over 100,000 Russian citizens took part in that struggle. Eighty were killed and hundreds more wounded, including Russian Ambassador to Angola Vladimir Tararov.

Russia’s assistance to the brotherly nation of Angola was not limited to the struggle for independence. It continued when the Republic of Angola was establishing its national identity.

Certainly, both Soviet and Russian diplomacy made contributions to the establishment of our friendship and cooperation in times of peace.

I would like to note that when times were tough for the Angolan people it was not only Russia that offered them assistance but also Cuba and Namibia. I am happy to see the ambassadors of these two fraternal countries here today.

There is a reason to this memorial stone reads “In Memory of Those Who Fought for Independent Angola”. I am convinced that this symbol of solidarity with those, who fight for justice and the right to control their own destiny, will serve for many years as a reminder to younger generations that these are the highest values. When I see the boys and girls who go to our school and who have come to attend this ceremony, I am convinced that our cause is just and we shall prevail.

Once again, thank you for this initiative. I wish all the best and new achievements to our Angolan friends as they continue to build their free and independent country.

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