MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will begin a series of international meetings with guests of the upcoming Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.
Later in the day, he is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and BRICS New Development Bank President Dilma Rousseff.
Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov told reporters on Tuesday that Putin’s talks with the premier of Ethiopia, who is paying an official visit to Russia, will be held with the participation of delegations. After that, the president and the premier will have a joint breakfast.
The previous meeting of Putin and Ahmed took place on the sidelines of the first Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019. The two leaders discussed the history of bilateral relations and their progressive development. Back then, Putin praised partnership relations between Russia and Ethiopia on the international arena, including in ensuring stable development of peace on the African continent. Ahmed, in turn, said Ethiopia viewed Russia as a key partner for the country’s development.
Putin’s talks with his Egyptian counterpart are scheduled for Wednesday evening. They will talk to the journalists together in the beginning of the meeting, and then their conversation will continue as a lunch, Ushakov said.
Their previous meeting also took place during the first Russia-Africa summit in 2019. El-Sisi told his Russian counterpart that Egypt “views the Russian side as a reliable partner of the African continent.” He also expressed hope that Russia “will work in Africa in all spheres and sectors, particularly in the sphere of development.” The latest phone conversation of the two leaders took place in March 2023.
Also, Putin will meet with Dilma Rousseff, who is the president of the BRICS New Development Bank. Rousseff, who served as the president of Brazil in 2011-2016, was elected to head the organization on March 24, 2023, in Shanghai. Her previous meeting with Putin took place during the BRICS summit in the Russian city of Ufa in 2015.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Putin was actively preparing for the summit, due to take place in St. Petersburg later this week.
In turn, Ushakov said the Russian president planned to hold separate meetings with each attending African leader. The aide said Putin was set to meet with the leaders of Egypt, Mozambique, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Libya, Cameroon, Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Congo.
Ushakov said these bilateral meetings will be held in St. Petersburg over four days from July 26 to 29.
Moreover, after the summit is over on July 28, Putin will have a working lunch with the leaders of African countries participating in the Ukrainian peace initiative. It will be attended by official delegations from South Africa, the Comoros, Congo, Egypt, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia.
Some of the African leaders are expected to attend the Main Navy Parade on Sunday, July 30.
Multipolar world and Russian-African relations
In Ushakov’s words, the Russian president is expected to deliver a major speech at the summit, assessing the current state of the system of international relations, including the process of transition to the new world order based on the concept of multipolarity and equality of all independent states.
Putin published an article, headlined ‘Russia and Africa: Joining Efforts for Peace, Progress and a Successful Future,’ in the run-up to the forum. The president said he was looking forward to meet with African leaders and stood committed to a fruitful constructive dialogue. He also expressed hope that he decisions adopted at the summit and forum, coupled with continuous diversified joint work will contribute to further development of Russian-African strategic partnership for the benefit of countries and peoples.
The second Russia-Africa summit, as well as an economic forum organized by the Roscongress Foundation, are scheduled to be held in St. Petersburg from July 27 through 28. The first such summit was held in Sochi from October 22-24, 2019 under the motto “For Peace, Security, and Development.” TASS is the event’s photo hosting agency and information partner.
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