Press release on political consultations with the foreign minister of Russia, and three African Union chairs, South Africa, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
On 8 July, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had his first annual consultations with his African counterparts, the current, former, and future African Union chairpersons – Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the South African Republic Naledi Pandor, Foreign Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt Sameh Shoukri, and State Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Marie Tumba Nzeza. The consultations were attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Alexei Gruzdev, Deputy Head of the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing Vyacheslav Smolensky and Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation Alexei Likhachev. The event was held as part of launching dialogue mechanisms for the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum (RAPF) established following the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in October 2019.
During the consultations, the participants discussed in detail ways of developing efficient cooperation between the RAPF Secretariat set up at the Foreign Ministry, with the foreign ministries of African countries and the secretariats of African regional integration organisations with a view to coordinating joint efforts on preparing for the second regular Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for 2022. They reviewed ways and methods of building a bilateral foundation through the mechanisms of sub-regional organisations, as well as opportunities for expanding cooperation in nuclear energy. Russia was praised for its humanitarian assistance to some African countries during the coronavirus pandemic. The participants noted the need to continue practical cooperation on countering COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, in part, by jointly developing vaccines.
In connection with the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (of 14 December 1960) and relying on the history of relations of solidarity and the joint struggle against colonial oppression, and for the freedom and independence of Africa, the foreign ministers of Russia, South Africa, Egypt and the Congo emphasized the importance of the principles of equality and self-determination, which formed the basis for decolonization, and reaffirmed their resolute renunciation of all forms and manifestations of xenophobia, racism, Nazism and neocolonialism.
The meeting participants plan to hold their next political consultation in 2021.