On Africa Day Celebrations
On May 25, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin sent a message of greeting to the heads of state and government of the African countries on the occasion of the annually observed Africa Day. The message, among other things, reaffirms the invariability of Russia's principled course towards strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation with the states of the continent, and readiness to continue to render assistance to the African countries in the creation of conditions for their sustainable development, including within the UN, the G8 and other multilateral forums and organizations, and expresses the confidence that by joint efforts it will be possible to make fuller use of the available considerable potential of Russian-African partnership.
On the eve of this date, May 24, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov held a reception for the heads of the diplomatic representations of the African countries in Moscow. Taking part in it from the Russian side were members of the Federation Council and State Duma, senior officials from a number of Russian agencies and organizations and the representatives of scientific, business and public circles.
In his remarks the Minister noted the steps taken by African states to ensure peace and stability in the continent, including the role of such an important structure as the African Union's Peace and Security Council, as well as their striving for the mobilization of efforts in the economic and social sphere. He noted with satisfaction that Russian-African relations have been acquiring new dynamics recently, that political dialogue and constructive cooperation between our countries has become more active in the international arena and that economic and other types of collaboration are developing in an ongoing manner.
After congratulating the African diplomats on the holiday, observed throughout the world since 1963, when the Organization of African Unity was established, which passed the baton in 2002 to the new pan-African forum, the African Union, Lavrov gave a high assessment to the active role of the embassies of the African countries in expanding the many-sided bilateral ties and wished the heads of the diplomatic representations success in fulfilling the responsible mission laid upon them.
Speaking in reply, the doyen of the African group of the diplomatic corps in Moscow, Gabon Republic Ambassador Benjamin Legnongo-Ndumba, stressed the traditionally friendly character of relations between Russia and the states of the continent, and spoke for advancing them further in various fields.