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Russia-Africa Public Forum Opens in Moscow

Oct. 22, 2018 (EIRNS)—President Vladimir Putin informed the African heads of state and government invited to attend the BRICS Summit in South Africa last July that Russia is “considering the idea of holding a Russia-Africa summit with the participation of African heads of state.” But since a summit with Africa’s over 50 heads of state requires a great deal of preparation, he suggested that “meetings of prominent entrepreneurs, experts, public figures” may come before such a summit.

Today, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov opened the “Russia-Africa Public Forum” in Moscow with the statement that

“all of us agree that it will be impossible to elevate the entire range of relations between Russia and African countries to an entirely new level unless the public at large takes the most energetic part in these efforts. There is demand for more intensive cultural, humanitarian, academic and youth exchanges, as well as general contacts between people. It is hard to overestimate the role of this in strengthening friendship, trust and mutual understanding between nations.”

His full remarks were posted to the Foreign Ministry website.

Speaking at the plenary along with Lavrov, were Madagascar’s Foreign Minister Eloi Dovo, Russian Special Envoy for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Economic Development Minister Azer Talybov, Vice Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of legislature) Sen. Ilyas Umakhanov, Alrosa mining company Vice President Vladimir Marchenko, and Russia’s Chief Sanitary Inspector Anna Popovam, TASS reported.

Lavrov thanked the African Business Initiative Union and the World Association of Foreign Alumni of Russian Universities for helping organize the forum, which the university association reported was attended by more than 500 people, including residents from about 30 African countries, foreigners studying in Russian universities, and Russian representatives.

“The forum will become a platform for the discussion of interaction prospects between Russia and the African countries on the most extensive range of problems. The focus will be on expanding cooperation on cultural, humanitarian, commerce and economic areas,”

the World Association of University Graduates told the Russiky Mir Foundation.

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