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.