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Official website of the President of Russia

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Closing remarks at the plenary session of the Russia-Africa Summit

October 24, 2019, Sochi

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr el-Sisi, delegation heads, ladies and gentlemen. We are concluding our discussion. I would like to say a few words in this connection.

The Prime Minister of Tanzania, who was speaking just now, told us about his country’s advantages and landmarks, including Kilimanjaro. I would like to tell you that Russia knows about the snows of Kilimanjaro and the country’s attractions not only from the best literary works, such as the books of Ernest Hemingway.

We know Africa very well, and we have known it for a long time. We know that its main resource is its talented people. Of course, it also has rich natural resources, and the African leaders, who are our friends, and the African people in general want to move forward and to do this as speedily as possible.

But we are also aware of the host of problems facing Africa that need to be settled. Our discussion has shown that we have similar or identical views when it comes to the majority of current global and regional problems. Our countries are interested in the progressive development of Russian-African relations in all spheres. We are ready to continue working together to strengthen our mutually beneficial cooperation.

Much has been said here about the role of the Soviet Union and Russia in the development of independent African countries. We are sincerely grateful to you for your historical memory. This is very important to us. At the same time, it should be said that the Soviet Union’s actions were largely inspired by ideological considerations or the logic of global geopolitical fighting.

Many speakers here mentioned a new stage and new quality of relations between Russia and Africa. I fully agree with this. This new stage and this new quality of our relations should be based on common values. We are at one in our support for the values of justice, equality and respect for the rights of nations to independently choose their future. It is within this framework that we will continue to coordinate our positions at international platforms and our joint efforts in the interests of stability on the African continent.

Very useful ideas and proposals have been expressed today regarding more intensive contacts in politics and security, in trade and investment, industrial cooperation, science and high technologies, education and healthcare.

The drafted final declaration of the summit outlines the fundamental approaches of Russia and African states to the development of relations; it determines the main goals and objectives for strengthening partnerships, as well as ways to achieve them. I take it that we all focus on making our cooperation more systematic and integrated. My colleagues also spoke about this here, both yesterday and today.

To this end, a dialogue platform is being created at some of our African friends’ proposals – a Russia-Africa partnership forum. On that platform, we can hold Russia-Africa summits every three years, alternately in our country or in one of the African states.

Current issues regarding the Russian-African cooperation agenda will be considered at annual consultations between foreign ministers of Russia and three African countries including the current, previous and future presidents of the African Union.

I hope that relations between Russia and African countries will indeed ascend to a new qualitative level, which will undoubtedly meet the interests of each participant in today's summit.

To wind up, I would like to thank President el-Sisi for his support. Without exaggeration, I would like to say that, had it not been for the support of our Egyptian friends, today's summit would have probably never got off the ground – not in the format we are now working in anyway. Among other things, as you can see, he has been here by my side and giving me a helping hand all through the day. I will have to share my salary with him now because he did part of my job. Thank you very much! (Laughter.)

I would like to thank all of you, colleagues, because I am sure you are responsible for this absolutely unique atmosphere. It definitely took a lot of time, and everyone had to speak out and state their opinion on how and what we need to do to enhance cooperation. But still, I think this is a unique atmosphere we have created, very friendly, a friendly atmosphere of free discussions, which, in my opinion, is also of great value.

I would like to thank you all. If you agree with what I said, I hope we will continue our joint work in approximately the same vein. We will start improving our interaction.

Thank you all so much and see you again.

October 24, 2019, Sochi