MOSCOW, July 17. /TASS/. The Russia-Africa Summit will give impetus to the development of ties between Russia and African states, forming an agenda for their further cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a joint press conference with the top diplomat of Cote d'Ivoire, Marcel Amon-Tanoh.
"We have thoroughly discussed preparations for the first Russia-Africa Summit scheduled to take place in Sochi in October. It will be the first such summit in history, an economic forum will precede it," Lavrov noted. "We expect that these events will become a major milestone in Russian-African relations and will also help define our future partnership," he added.
While commenting on his talks with the foreign minister of Cote d'Ivoire, Lavrov described relations between the two countries as friendly. "We confirmed our mutual interest in boosting bilateral relations, particularly trade, economic and humanitarian ties. We agreed to take further steps to develop promising projects in the energy sector, infrastructure and agriculture, which is the backbone of Cote d'Ivoire’s economy," the Russian foreign minister noted. "In this regard, we agreed to encourage business circles to build direct contacts and increasingly employ the capacities of business associations, primarily, the two countries’ chambers of commerce and industry.
Lavrov added that the parties had also discussed defense cooperation, the fight against terrorism, ways to resolve conflicts in Africa and interaction within the United Nations and other international organizations.
Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi will host the first Russia-Africa Summit on October 24. Leaders of more than 50 countries of the region have been invited, 35 of whom have confirmed their participation. Presidents of Russia and Egypt, which is presiding over the African Union in 2019, will co-chair the forum. The events preceding the summit include the Russia-Africa Economic Conference that took place in Moscow on June 20-21 and the Russia-Africa Parliamentary Conference held on July 3.