President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to St Petersburg.
I would like to thank you for coming to the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
At the outset, I would like to recall that our country was one of the first to recognise the independence of the Central African Republic.
In the 1960s and 70s, specialists from our country worked in many spheres in your country, dozens of highly qualified specialists in many fields. Over 500 people were trained in Russia and managed to apply the knowledge and skills they received to develop their homeland.
Later, for many reasons our cooperation was, if not completely curtailed, stuck at a rather low level. We will be happy to consider various plans to boost our relations, first of all in the economic and humanitarian fields, including personnel training.
I am happy to see you, Mr President, and hope that today we will manage to find areas where we can work together to advance our relations.
President of the Central African Republic Faustin Archange Touadera (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President.
I am most grateful to you personally and the Government of the Russian Federation for the invitation. It is a great honour for me to take part in the St Petersburg Economic Forum.
You mentioned the very important historical cooperation between our country and the Russian Federation in the 1960s and 1970s. In these periods, our contacts were much closer.
You spoke about personnel training. Some students received education in the Soviet Union, while others studied in our country. For example, I studied at home but my teachers were Russian, which illustrates the very high level our relations were at.
I am very happy to be here at your invitation. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to enhance our cooperation in many areas. I believe we can map out ways, areas and means for more active cooperation. You mentioned the economy and humanitarian contacts and I agree with you.
Today our country is among the least developed but we have huge potential. I think participation in the economic forum will allow us to tell its participants about this potential and the business and economic opportunities opening up in our country.
I went to Sochi on October 7 and saw that there is an opportunity for large-scale partnership based on trust between our countries.
I would like to once again thank you, Mr President, the entire Government and the people of the Russian Federation for your support in the process of consolidation and reconciliation in our country.
Incidentally, recently a Russian convoy covered a very difficult route from the East to the West in the framework of such partnership. Its goal was to set up mobile hospitals that will render simply invaluable support to our population that is currently in a very difficult humanitarian situation.
We have big expectations for potential economic and humanitarian exchanges. We will discuss ways of promoting our cooperation.