MAPUTO, March 7. /TASS/. Russia, Mozambique plan to develop military-technical cooperation, and a joint working group that was established last year will foster cooperation in this area, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said after negotiations with his Mozambican counterpart Jose Pacheco on Wednesday.
"Considering the experience of our interaction - which is long, very successful and is positively regarded by both sides - in the sphere of military-technical cooperation, we stated that the decision to establish a working group on military-technical cooperation that first convened last year would also foster development of cooperation in this important area," he said.
Lavrov also pointed to the development of educational ties between the two countries. "Several hundreds of Mozambican citizens are studying in Russian higher educational institutions for civilian occupational specialties, as well as in educational institutions of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry," he reported.
According to the Russian foreign minister, the main task remains the development of trade-economic cooperation to the level that would correspond to active political dialogue. "We’ve got first results here already: an agreement to set up an intergovernmental commission on trade-economic cooperation has been reached, and the first meeting will be held the next month in Maputo," Lavrov stated.
The Russian and Mozambican governments signed an agreement on military-technical cooperation in late January, 2017. The document stipulates deliveries of arms and military equipment, as well as other military-oriented products, spare parts and components.
The agreement was inked for five years, and after the expiration it will be prolonged for another five years if neither party notifies the other six months before the date of expiry on the intention to terminate it.
Russia shares Mozambique’s determination to take bilateral relations to the strategic partnership level, according to Lavrov.
"We value our friendly relations that have stood the test of time and share the task of taking them to the strategic partnership level," Lavrov said.
"We would like to expand our interaction in various fields, first and foremost, in the area of trade and economy," he added.
The Mozambique foreign minister, in turn, confirmed his country’s interest in establishing strategic partnership with Russia that, in his words, would benefit both countries.
"We have seen proof of Russia’s technological successes during President Vladimir Putin’s address to the Federal Assembly on March 1," Pacheco noted.
Russia and Mozambique share a common stance that the fight against terrorism is a task of paramount importance for the entire global community, Lavrov said.
"Just like our Mozambican friends, we believe it is an absolute priority for the international community to pool efforts to combat terrorism on the common solid basis of international law without any double standards , without attempts to use extremists for narrow-minded geopolitical goals," he said.
"This initiative was put forward by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a recent UN General Assembly session, and it continues to be fully relevant," the minister went on to say. "Considering the growing terrorist threat, despite certain achievements in the fight against this evil, it continues to pose a huge number of problems to many countries in the region."