Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     2004-04-28

Russian President Vladimir Putin Sends Message
to President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has sent a message to President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki of the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of his re-election to the post of President of the RSA, in which he also congratulated him on the tenth anniversary of the establishment of democracy in the RSA - Freedom Day.

The text of the message reads in part:

"Ten years ago the people of your country made a choice in favor of freedom, equality and democracy. It is with satisfaction that we note the considerable economic and social successes that the South Africans have achieved over these years. It is gratifying that the processes of transformation, aimed at strengthening the democratic foundations of the state and at the consolidation of society, are continuing today.

"We highly appreciate the well-balanced and principled stand of the RSA on global and regional issues. The similarity of our approaches is a solid foundation for the deepening of cooperation in the formation of a just world pattern and in counteraction against such threats as international terrorism, local conflicts, economic crises and epidemics.

"As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and a participant in the Group of Eight, Russia supports the desire of the RSA and other African states to lead the continent onto the path of sustained development. In this connection we are ready for the most active cooperation in implementing the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) program.

"People in Russia cherish the spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and solidarity which has traditionally distinguished our bilateral relations. We are pleased with the high level of political dialogue between our countries and we are disposed towards its further deepening. In this case we attach particular importance to the expansion of mutually beneficial trade-and-economic ties, which, I am convinced, have a considerable growth potential."

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