In his message to African heads of state and government the President said, in part:
“This is an emblematic date for the international community and international relations today, symbolising Africans’ desire for freedom, unity, peace, stability, and sustainable development.
Africa has made confident strides along the road of broad transformation and modernisation over the last years. Much has been done to speed up the pace of growth and bolster political, economic and cultural unity on the continent.
We note too the energetic efforts the African Union and sub-regional associations are making to ensure peace and security and develop their own peacekeeping capabilities. Russia will continue to provide Africa with active assistance in these undertakings.
At the same time, the situation in a number of North African countries is very worrying at the moment. I am sure that it is in the common interest to settle the conflicts that have arisen as soon as possible and not let them spread deeper into the continent. We believe that Africans themselves are the key actors here in choosing the ways and methods of achieving such settlement, with the international community’s support.
I want to confirm that Russia is ready to continue its involvement in providing comprehensive social and economic assistance to Africa, at the bilateral level, and within the various international forums, above all the UN, the G8, and other multilateral groups.
We remain committed to developing our fruitful ties with African countries, and our firm traditions of friendship and close cooperation provide a solid foundation for this process. Political dialogue and business and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries are becoming more intensive now, and this makes us optimistic about the future. I am sure that our joint efforts will succeed in strengthening and diversifying the whole range of mutually advantageous links we have, carrying out new projects, and making full use of all the opportunities before us.
I wish the peoples and countries of Africa lasting peace, success and prosperity.”