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We are glad to welcome you to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during your visit to Russia at the invitation of Valentina Matviyenko, Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Parliament.
In a few months, in early 2017, we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa, although friendly, close, fraternal relations between our nations have a longer history. We remember the heroic struggle of the South African people for independence. We not only expressed solidarity but also provided active support to your struggle.
After South Africa gained independence, our relations started growing, ultimately reaching a point in 2013 when President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of South Africa Jacob Zuma signed a joint declaration on the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and South Africa. The scope of our strategic partnership has expanded since then, with deepening bilateral trade, economic, cultural and other types of cooperation and growing interaction on the international stage.
We are working together in the UN, BRICS and other international organisations to uphold our common views on international law, respect for the right of nations to self-determination and the further development of the UN and the strengthening of its central role in the peaceful settlement of conflicts. We highly value our cooperation on issues pertaining to the strengthening of Russia’s ties with Africa and South Africa’s role in facilitating the settlement of various conflicts in Africa.
Inter-parliamentary cooperation is an increasingly important element of our strategic partnership.
We appreciate this opportunity to exchange opinions on all these issues.
We are happy to see you. Once again, welcome to Moscow.
On September 28, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Thandi Modise, Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces, the upper house of the Parliament of South Africa, who is in Russia on an official visit.
The officials had a committed discussion of current issues pertaining to the further strengthening of Russia-South Africa fruitful cooperation in the main areas of their strategic partnership. They reaffirmed the importance of carrying on active inter-parliamentary relations at the bilateral level and within international formats such as BRICS.
Mr Lavrov and Ms Modise also pointed to the similarity or closeness of Russian and South African views on global and regional issues, in particular the fight against international terrorism, the situation in Syria and the rest of the Middle East and the settlement of crises in Africa. In this connection, they expressed the mutual intention of Moscow and Pretoria to maintain an active and confidential political dialogue.
On 22-26 August Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov visited Limpopo Province, met with Premier Stanley #Mathabatha & members of Provincial Government, discussed interregional & economic cooperation.
On 16-22 August 2016 a delegation from the People’s Friendship University of Russia also known as the RUDN University headed by Vice-Rector Larisa Efremova visited South Africa.
The delegation visited Free State, where a meeting with Premier Ace Magashule and Provincial Government took place. The negotiations focused on advanced cooperation and practical issues, such as 122 students from Free State currently studying at RUDN in Moscow. As was decided that these South African students will receive field experience and practical training at Free State-based companies and institutions.
RUDN delegates met with officials from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of South Africa, discussing current and possible venues of cooperation.
Enhancing interaction between RUDN and leading South African universities, both bilaterally and within the BRICS Network University, was also a major focus of the visit. The delegation met with the leadership of Witwatersrand University, University of Johannesburg, University of Pretoria, University of Free State and Central University of Technology.
RUDN is to sign cooperation agreements with University of Johannesburg and University of Pretoria by the end of this year.
The head of the delegation Larisa Efremova noted that this visit shows a high level of genuine interest from all involved parties towards intensified cooperation.