Unofficial translation from Russian
Russian President Vladimir Putin Speaks to South African President Thabo Mbeki by Telephone
A telephone conversation took place on June 18 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Thabo Mbeki.
The leaders of the two countries underscored the traditionally friendly character of bilateral relations and mutual desire to impart to them further development in various fields.
In relation to the upcoming G8 summit to be held on June 26-28 in Kananaskis, Canada, in whose events a number of leaders of African countries, including Thabo Mbeki, have been invited to take part, Putin noted that Russia will continue its
course toward building up cooperation with the continent's countries, including in questions of the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development program. Russia, Putin said, will adhere to this line also at the
summit in Canada when discussing an Action Plan for Africa. The President of Russia highlighted South Africa's role in African affairs, noting in particular that the first summit of the successor to the Organization of African Unity - the
African Union - will be held on July 8-10, 2002, under Mbeki's chairmanship.
In his turn, the South African President said Africa is awaiting something new from the meeting in Kananaskis and hopes for its serious concrete results. Mbeki expressed satisfaction with the fact that in this matter the Africans can count on
Russia as a reliable partner.
At the end of the conversation, Putin congratulated Thabo Mbeki on his 60th birthday.
The Kremlin, Moscow, June 18, 2002
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