Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui, Moscow, December 20, 2017
I am glad that we have met today. We regard the African Union as a long-standing strategic partner with which we have been closely cooperating in numerous spheres, especially in the sphere of peace and security, for which you, Mr Chergui, are responsible as the African Union’s Commissioner. These issues were at the top of the agenda of the recent visit to Russia by Mr Alpha Conde, Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of Guinea.
We are closely cooperating with the AU in the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime, as well as in trying to settle conflicts in Africa. According to our consistent position on crises in Africa, the Africans themselves should find solutions to their problems. We have always cautioned those who attempted to force their solutions on the Africans against doing this. Practice shows that nothing good comes of such attempts.
We believe that the international community, primarily the UN Security Council, should support the agreements that have been drafted with the mediation of the African Union and other African organisations, and that it should provide political, moral and material assistance to their implementation. We are helping our African friends strengthen their capability to resist threats and settle conflicts by training police, peacekeepers and defence personnel for them. We will continue to provide all kinds of such assistance and will also continue to support the activities of the African Union.
Today I would like to hear your views on the situation on the continent and the joint actions we can take to normalise and improve it.