Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     15.10.2002

A RIA NOVOSTI INTERVIEW WITH OFFICIAL RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO IN VIEW OF MOZAMBICAN FOREIGN MINISTER LEONARDO SIMAO'S FORTHCOMING OCTOBER 15TH-19TH TRIP TO RUSSIA

     2083-14-10-2002

     Question: What significance does Moscow attach to the forthcoming visit to Russia to be made by Mozambique's foreign minister, Leonard dos Santos Simao?

     Answer: We believe that the official visit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of the Republic of Mozambique, Leonardo dos Santos Simao, which is scheduled for October 15th-19th on the invitation of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, will give a new impulse to Russo-Mozambican relations and boost the African vector of Russia's foreign policy.

     Talks are planned between Igor Ivanov and Leonardo dos Santos Simao, as is the signing of a protocol on co-operation between the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Co-operation of the Republic of Mozambique.

     The Mozambican minister will hold meetings in a series of Russian ministries and departments, as well as with business circles, and he will visit St Petersburg.

     It would be incorrect not to point out that Russia follows developments in Mozambique with great interest and sympathy, welcoming political and socio-economic reforms aimed at accomplishing a national revival. The Russian Foreign Ministry published a statement in connection with the October 4th 10th anniversary of the Rome Peace Treaty for Mozambique, which brought the sixteen-year civil war to an end. The statement noted with satisfaction that the end to military operations had opened a way towards national consensus and the establishment of a democratic, legal state in Mozambique.

     Question: Which international problems will be given priority attention during the Russo-Mozambican talks?

     Answer: Above all, it has to be said that Mozambique's and Russia's positions on key problems of the times are close or coincide, and the sides conduct polices in keeping with this in the international arena.

     Priority attention during Igor Ivanov's talks with Leonardo dos Santos Simao will be paid to the formation of a democratic system of international relations, the fight against global challenges of the times, above all against international terrorism, and issues of strengthening the central role of the UN and its Security Council to support international peace and stability. There will be an exchange of opinions on the situation in the Middle East and the situation surrounding Iraq.

     Question: At talks with such an authoritative African state as Mozambique, obviously, a detailed discussion of the African problem cannot be avoided?

     Answer: Indeed. The situation in Africa will have an important place at the negotiations, including the problem of guaranteeing stable development for the continent's countries, and the Action Plan for Africa, drawn up at the last G8 summit in Kananaskis, which is aimed at assisting the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development programme. Russia is a co-author of the Plan, and is ready to take part in realising such important components as providing assistance to enhance peace and stability in Africa, co-operation in guaranteeing the continent's states with water and energy resources, and personnel training for education and healthcare systems. Our country will also make a great contribution to easing Africa's debt burden.

     There will be detailed talks on the settlement of conflict situations on the African continent which remain a serious obstacle in the way of Africa's socio-economic and political development, and its fully-fledged participation in global economic contacts. Attention will also be paid to the role of the African Union, and sub-regional organisations, including the South African Development Community, in enhancing the continent's stability.

     The ministers will also discuss how to increase bilateral trade-economic co-operation which is currently well below the level of our political interaction.


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