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Russia expects cooperation with South Africa to boost following presidential polls

February 16, 16:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Ramaphosa, nominated by the African National Congress, was endorsed as president by the National Assembly of South Africa

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MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Moscow expects that its strategic cooperation with South Africa will continue to evolve after Cyril Ramaphosa has been elected the country’s president, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

"We expect that strategic partnership between Russia and South Africa will continue to evolve following the inauguration of the new South African president, as the two countries continue their political, trade, economic, humanitarian cooperation, as well as interaction within BRICS, G20, the United Nations and other international organizations," the statement reads.

The Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out that as the African National Congress (ANC) leader, Ramaphosa "made a great contribution to the South African people’s fight against apartheid and the development of democratic society in the country."

Ramaphosa, nominated by the African National Congress, was endorsed as president by the National Assembly of South Africa. Since other parliamentary parties had failed to nominate their candidates, he was elected automatically. The new president will lead the country at least until the parliamentary elections scheduled for the spring of 2019. The previous head of state, Jacob Zuma, who held the office since 2009, agreed to step down on Wednesday under pressure from the ANC.

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