Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     A Speech Made by Vasily Sredin, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, at a Formal Meeting in the Friendship House on the Occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Angola, October 8, 2001

      October 09, 2001

     Your Excellency Mr. Ambassador of the Republic of Angola,

     Esteemed Guests,

     Dear Angolan and Russian Friends,

     We have gathered here to mark a significant event for us - the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between our countries. I am charged to convey the most sincere and warm congratulations of Ilya Klebanov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Government, and Igor Ivanov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the occasion of this important jubilee.

     Twenty-five years ago we cemented with an agreement our reciprocal desire to build and develop bilateral ties on the basis of fraternal mutual assistance and support. We have since succeeded in doing a great deal. We are proud that it was not without our participation that Angola was able to travel the not easy path of formation and today holds a worthy place in the international community. I think that the quarter-century history of Russian-Angolan relations can serve as an example of equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation of two sovereign states.

     We consider it necessary to maintain the ties built up over years with African countries with continuity, to keep up the course for all-round cooperation with them, and as far as possible, to help them in solving the tasks of development and of overcoming the existing problems.

     The major condition of the fruitful development of Russian-African ties we believe is the absence of differences of a political character between Russia and Africa. On the contrary, our approaches to the core issues of today are either similar or identical.

     We note with satisfaction the increase of our mutual understanding in approaches to the formation of a just world order, to the creation on global and regional levels of reliable mechanisms for ensuring peace and security and to the settlement of crises and conflicts by political means with the leading role of the UN and its Security Council.

     We are brought closer by awareness that one of the key challenges to mankind in the 21st century is the imbalance in development levels between different regions of the planet, and the continuation of vast zones of military-political, economic and social instability. The recent tragic events in the US have once again highlighted such a global threat as the spread of terrorism.

     We are concerned that most acutely these problems show themselves in Africa, where the tasks of development are seriously complicated not only by economic difficulties, but also by many armed conflicts. The tendency for the spread of crisis zones on the continent demands regular coordination in peacekeeping efforts between Africans themselves and the international community in the person of the UN.

     In the UN, in the Security Council Russia has been consistently and efficiently seeking the peaceful resolution of the conflict situations in Africa on a just basis and the removal of the causes that give rise to them. We support greater international cooperation in the peacekeeping field, the enhancement in this process of the role of OAU and sub-regional organizations, and the consolidation of collective security systems on the continent.

     Returning to the principal event of today's formal meeting - the important anniversary date in the history of Russian-Angolan relations - it can be stated that over the past quarter-century our ties in various areas have assumed the character of close cooperation.

     Angola is a country having priority significance for Russian foreign policy on the African continent. We stress our resolute intention to develop and strengthen the many-sided relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Angola.

     We highly value Angola as our time-tested partner on the world scene. We express hope that in the new millennium too the joint efforts of the sides will contribute to the formation of an equitable world order based on observance of the principles of the UN Charter, international law and the equality of all members of the international community.

     I would like once again to give an assurance of our invariable support of the efforts of the Angolan government in fostering the peace process, and willingness to continue steadfastly to cooperate in order to attain peace and stability on Angolan soil.

     Russia as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and in the framework of the troika of international observers firmly intends to help in the search of ways leading to Angolan settlement, and to stick to the course for increasing the effectiveness of the regime of UN sanctions, designed to cut off the channels of support for the antigovernment grouping from external sources.

     Remaining in the center of attention for us is the question of building up trade and economic ties with Angola. In this area we have already made an impressive start - cooperation is developing in the diamond industry, in the military-technological area, in energy, fisheries, education and medicine. We are getting ready to launch an IGC mechanism.

     The 25 years f joint work, undoubtedly, have yielded useful results and this fills our hearts with confidence in the future, it gives us grounds to believe that the positive disposition of the leaderships and peoples of our two countries, and the special warm feelings we entertain toward each other will serve as an additional stimulus to the expansion of bilateral cooperation.

     We look with great optimism to the development of ties between Russia and Angola in the 21st century, which is opening up before us new opportunities and prospects.

     Thank you for your attention.

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