Joint statement following talks between the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the foreign ministers of three members of the African Union - the Republic of South Africa, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
1. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held the first annual political consultation meeting with the foreign ministers of three African Union member states, who are the current, previous and future chairs of the African Union. The meeting took place on July 8 online. Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor from the Republic of South Africa, Sameh Shoukry from the Arab Republic of Egypt and Marie Tumba Nzeza from the Democratic Republic of the Congo took part. The consultations were held as part of launching the dialogue mechanisms for the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum established after the Russia-Africa Summit (Sochi, October 23-24, 2019). The event was also attended by the heads of a number of national policy departments and government agencies.
2. The Russian Foreign Minister talked about the priorities of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum formed at the Russian Foreign Ministry which include overall coordination of Russian-African cooperation in preparation for the summits, the strengthening of business ties between Russian and African companies, as well as the development of common economic, research and cultural roadmaps to promote Russian-African cooperation.
3. The ministers noted the importance of close cooperation between the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum and the foreign ministries of African countries as well as the secretariats of Africa’s integration associations.
4. The ministers reviewed measures to increase industrial cooperation between Russia and Africa, both bilaterally and with the involvement of African subregional organisations, as well as to ensure simplified African exports access to the Russian market.
5. The ministers expressed serious concern about the continued worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection and its consequences. They noted the need to expand international cooperation in combating epidemics, pandemics and other public health challenges. The Russian Foreign Minister reiterated Russia’s commitment to continue to assist the African countries in combating the COVID-19 pandemic bilaterally and through multilateral agencies.
6. The ministers confirmed that the second Russia-Africa summit will be held in Africa in 2022. They agreed that the specific dates and venues will be agreed upon during the next round of political consultations following the election of the African Union chair for 2022.
7. The ministers emphasised the importance and relevance of the 60th anniversary of the UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples dated December 14, 1960 and marked in 2020.
8. The ministers reaffirmed the importance of the principles of equality and self-determination of the nations, and strongly condemned modern forms and practices of xenophobia, racism, neocolonialism and Nazism.
9. The ministers agreed to hold a second political consultation meeting of the Russian foreign minister with the three foreign ministers of the African Union in 2021.