Russia emphasizes enhanced trade, economic cooperation with Africa

(EBC; March 9, 2018)- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has underlined the need to promote his country's trade and economic cooperation with Africa, which he said is lagging behind the political interaction Russia has with the continent.

Sergey made the remarks during a joint press conference after the meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Friday at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

The two sides have discussed regional and international issues including on peace and security, trade and investment, education and training.

"We have paid a particular emphasis on the trade and economic cooperation which is somewhat lagging behind our political interaction; we have agreed to more actively promote the dialogue in terms of cooperation in energy, in high-tech, and to also actively promote direct contact within our business circles," he said.

With regard to peace and security, the two sides have agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, organized crimes, and drug trafficking.

They have also dwelt upon the situations particularly in Libya, the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa, and the Great Lakes, with Russia promising to provide continued support to AU's efforts in resolving conflicts on the African continent.

Sergey is the third foreign official to visit AU this week, following the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Wednesday, and the U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday. All the three have expressed interests to promote cooperation with Africa in various fields.