During the meeting of the Chairman of the State Duma with the ambassadors of African countries in the Russian Federation, participants noted the importance of the holding of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference “Russia-Africa” in 2019.
Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, noted that the meeting of the Chairman of the State Duma with the heads of diplomatic missions of the African continent is the first in the newest history of Russia. The deputy called the event “historic.” Speaking about the upcoming conference “Russia – Africa”, he expressed the hope that it will become regular and will be constantly held in Moscow. The conference should be held next year, the dates will be determined soon, preparation for it has been going on for more than a month. Earlier, Vyacheslav Volodin said that the Russia-Africa Inter-Parliamentary Conference will be held in 2019.
“I am confident that such conferences will help us seriously bring together our positions and views, bring our countries, peoples and parliaments closer together,” Leonid Slutsky stressed.
“This conference will be the starting point of a new round of cooperation between the State Duma and the parliaments of African countries, as well as the Pan-African Parliament,” the deputy concluded.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Olga Timofeeva stressed that the mutual interest of Africa and Russia is growing. “In recent years, Africa, with its demographic and economic potential, has become a new world center for global development. Russia has great potential, and there are still a lot of connections that we can tune in with you, ”said the parliamentarian.
Olga Timofeeva recalled that at the International Forum on the Development of Parliamentarism, held in June, the Russia-Africa platform was the most representative, and the range of problems discussed was the widest: human rights issues, development of parliamentarism, ensuring equal representation of all ethnic groups in power and other.
She also said that there are seven “groups of friendship” with African countries in the State Duma, and “we are ready to be included in new formats of interaction”. The parliamentarian expressed her hope that this meeting “will become the basis of our long-term cooperation.”
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov thanked the Foreign Ministry of the State Duma and personally Vyacheslav Volodin for organizing this meeting.
“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric architecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it,” said Mikhail Bogdanov. He recalled that the relations of the Russian Federation and Africa have a long history, lining up on the principles of equality and mutual respect. In recent years, communications have intensified and are developing in various directions. “Invariably, and not in words, but in deed, we support the principle formulated by the African countries“ African problems – an African solution, ”said the Deputy Minister.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the Russian Federation Zhanna d’Arc of Mudzhamamariya thanked Vyacheslav Volodin for inviting her and her colleagues to the State Duma.
“I want us to use this platform to exchange views on common problems, common issues for the African continent and the Russian Federation,” she said.
Joan of Arc Mudzhamamariya emphasized that “Russia never participated in the colonization of Africa and always supported us when we were faced with the betrayal of our partners.”
The diplomat also said: “We hope that the Chairman of the State Duma will outline the priorities of our cooperation and offer a comprehensive program, proposals for cooperation between the Pan-African Union and the State Duma, which will allow our parliaments to work effectively as legislative bodies.”
Algerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation Smail Allaua said: “We are proud of our relations with Russia. Russia managed to develop very good relations with each of the countries of the African continent. ”
Smail Allaua, he pointed out the importance of developing an inter-parliamentary dimension. “Parliamentarians are an integral part of diplomacy,” he said.
In addition, the Ambassador of Algeria said that his country is ready to actively engage in the preparation of a future inter-parliamentary conference and, in general, in strengthening and expanding relations with Russia.
The representative of the Gambia, on behalf of her country and all countries of the African continent, invited President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to visit Africa.
Vyacheslav Volodin said that he would pass the invitation to Vladimir Putin, and also said: “We are going to provide support through the parliamentary dimension for the development of inter-parliamentary contacts in terms of the preparation of the Russia-Africa Summit. It is planned that the heads of state will take part in the conference. “Her [conduction] was initiated by our President,” said the Chairman of the State Duma.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the Russian Federation Zhanna d’Arc of Mudzhamamariya inquired about the prospects for the development of mutual
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the Russian Federation, Jeanne d’Arc of the Mudjamariaria, inquired about the prospects for the development of cooperation between Russia and the countries of the African Union, in particular, in the economic sphere.
“When we will more effectively build our relations in the parliamentary framework, this will certainly create an incentive for representatives of Russian business,” said the Chairman of the State Duma.
He added that business representatives “need support, they need confidence, and this confidence from the parliament will be provided.”
“You correctly said that Russia has a distinctive feature in comparison with other countries: Russia has always carried the people of the African continent well, solved problems, but has never engaged in colonization, never imposed its agenda,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, referring to the ambassador.
The Chairman of the State Duma proposed to hold such meetings annually with the heads of diplomatic missions of African countries and called for the next time to discuss specific joint issues.
“We propose to move from intentions to concrete steps,” said the Chairman of the State Duma. “Through parliamentary relations, both we and our peoples will better understand each other.”
During the meeting, a question was raised about a broader view of the Russian media in Africa, and the ambassadors greeted him with applause.
Vyacheslav Volodin noted that “together it is necessary to take certain steps for the Russian media to be present on the African continent.”
“You know that the Russian media provide broadcasting in various languages, they are present in many countries, although it is certainly impossible to compare this presence with the media presence of the United States, Great Britain, and Germany, but those who want to find information through the Russian media have such an opportunity “, – said the Chairman of the State Duma.
“It is important that our position reaches the inhabitants of your countries and that they can compare it with another point of view,” he said.
“I want to invite you to get acquainted with the work of the State Duma through the website of the State Duma, today it works with providing translation into several languages, an English version has been launched. The website is the second among the websites of state authorities, ”said Vyacheslav Volodin. He added that representatives of the professional community, those who are interested in the life of Russia, the decisions taken by the State Duma, will be able to familiarize themselves with this through the English version of the State Duma website.
“I want to emphasize that the principles on which the international policy of the Russian Federation is based are not only well known to you, you endorse them. Because there is a certain history of our relations, a historical path, and today we can say that we have a future, we should strive to develop these relations, ”said Vyacheslav Volodin, concluding the meeting.