On Congratulations by Russian President Vladimir Putin to South African President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki on His Election to the Post of Chairman of the African Union
President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has sent a message of congratulations to President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa upon his election to the post of Chairman of the African Union - the continental forum
of the peoples of Africa which succeeds the Organization of African Unity.
The message reads in part:
"For almost four decades Africa's struggle for freedom, independence and progress was associated with the activities of the OAU. To a significant extent these objectives have been accomplished, but today the continuation of
pan-African unity traditions encounters new challenges. The main of them are the ensuring of peace, stability and sustainable development, and overcoming of the acute social problems of the countries of the region.
"We hope that the formation and work of the African Union will serve not only the revival of Africa, but also the consolidation of the authority which the countries of the continent rightfully enjoy in the world arena.
"We assess as the first step in this direction the large-scale New Partnership for African Development program adopted by the OAU, in the implementation of which Russia is ready to assist under the framework of broad international
efforts. We believe that the Action Plan adopted by the Group of Eight leaders at the summit in Kananaskis will help to fill with new content the cooperation with African states in support of the long-term measures elaborated by them and
aimed at the achievement of peace and well-being for the region.
"Our country as a permanent UN Security Council member and a G8 participant is interested in seeing the African continent, having overcome the difficulties, take the road of genuine prosperity. Without this, a harmonious development of
the entire international community is unlikely to take place.
"Russia, for its part, will continue to actively cooperate further with all African states in the political, trade-and-economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields."
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