Unofficial translation from Russian
On the Celebration of Africa Day
On May 24 on the occasion of the annually observed Africa Day a reception was organized for the heads of the diplomatic missions of African countries in Moscow on behalf of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov. Taking part in it from the Russian side were deputies of the State Duma, and the representatives of the leaderships of a number of Russian agencies and organizations and of scientific, business and public circles.
In his remarks at the reception Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Saltanov placed emphasis on the interest of Russia in strengthening Russian-African cooperation. This disposition of Russia's leadership, he noted, is reaffirmed in the congratulatory message sent by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to the heads of state and government of the African countries on the occasion of Africa Day. It stresses the intention of our country to consistently build up bilateral ties with the continent's states, and expresses hope that the purposeful joint work will help reach a level of mutually beneficial cooperation which will fully match the existing considerable potential and contribute to a safe and happy future for present and succeeding generations.
The Minister in his remarks stated with satisfaction that in spite of the major changes occurring in the world, the mutual sympathy of the Russian and African peoples, and their sincere benevolent interest in each other are a solid foundation for long-term many-faceted Russian relations with the countries of the continent.
Over the recent period it has been possible through joint efforts to raise the level of relations with African states and to consolidate the tendency for the intensification of partnership in the political, trade-and-economic and a number of other fields. An important aspect: the similarity of the positions of Russia and African states on key international problems and the constructive coordination of our countries in the world arena.
Saltanov, cordially congratulating the African diplomats on the significant date, emphasized that the embassies headed by them play an important role in developing the relations of friendship and cooperation between Russia and the continent's countries, and wished success in the accomplishment of the high mission placed upon them.
Speaking in reply, the doyen of the African group of the diplomatic corps in Moscow, Ambassador of the Republic of Gabon Benjamin Legnongo-Ndumba, spoke in favor of the further ongoing development of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the countries of Africa.
The reception passed in a warm friendly atmosphere.
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