Russian Foreign Minister To Embark On His First African Tour Wednesday

Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, will go on his first tour of African countries on Wednesday night. Prominent on his route are Angola, Namibia and the Republic of South Africa. The visit testifies to "the strengthening of the African vector of Russia's foreign policies," according to the Russian foreign ministry. Russia is going to take advantage of its long-established ties with the countries of this continent. African states are known to express solidarity with Russia at the United Nations, something Moscow believes to be of paramount importance. Russia wants to demonstrate its support in return. Russia is seeking to restore political and economic contacts with the region. Among other things, to dominate Ivanov's meetings with the top of the above countries is cooperation in the diamond mining industry. Apart from that, to be discussed are specific fishing projects with Angola and Namibia. These two countries and Russia are also developing cooperation in the oil and gas sector. Whilst in Angola, the Russian foreign minister will discuss local developments. Russia along with the USA and Portugal are the observer states to the Angolan peace process, with the upcoming visit to step up the three countries' settlement effort. Apart from that, Ivanov is expected to inquire into what happened to the Russian pilots missing in Angola. A total of 13 Russian nationals have been reported missing in that country.

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