Minister Radegonde Calls for Meaningful Negotiations at Russia-Africa Summit
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, led the Seychelles delegation to the Second Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, being held from the 26th – 29th July 2023.
During his intervention at the Summit on 28th July 2023, Minister Radegonde stated that the Summit is “a testament to the importance and priority that Russia attaches to the steady development of its cooperation with African nations.”
The Minister further added that “the Summit underpins the depth and intensity of the Africa-Russia partnership as well as the two sides’ firm commitment and shared desire to further strengthen and solidify their relations. Our cooperation has been one which is multi-sectoral and significant progress has been made in various areas of our enduring relationship. I believe that there is potential for cooperation in a range of fields, including tourism, trade, investment, energy, infrastructure development and security.”
In addressing the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Minister Radegonde commended the initiatives of the African Union and its member states in finding a peaceful solution to end the conflict. “This is a testament to our unwavering commitment to diplomacy, dialogue, and the peaceful resolution of conflicts. We call on all parties involved to engage in meaningful negotiations, and to work towards a comprehensive and lasting solution that respects the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the indivisibility of security, and the aspirations of the affected populations” added the Minister.
Minister Radegonde ended his intervention by soliciting the support of those present to “work together and mobilise solutions, which will also be beneficial for the most vulnerable countries, not least the small African Island Developing States at the forthcoming COP 28.”
On the margins of the Summit, Minister Radegonde and the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, Mr. Konstantin Chuychenko signed an Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) between Seychelles and Russia.
Additionally, Minister Radegonde had the opportunity to meet with several officials of the Russian Federation and partners, namely, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Sports, Mr. Oleg Matytsin and the Governor of Rostov, a town with which Seychelles has a twinning agreement, Mr. Vasily Golubev, among others.
The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism also held discussions with the Minister for Economic Development who is also the Minister responsible for Tourism of the Russian Federation, Mr. Maxim Gennadyevich Reshetnikov and representatives of Aeroflot to explore the possibility of further developing the Russian tourism market including the frequency of Aeroflot flights.
While in St. Petersburg, Minister Radegonde also visited the Seychelles Stand at the Expo organised on the sidelines of the Summit where Seychelles was represented by officials from the Tourism Department, Ms. Lena Hoareau and Ms. Anastasiia Bogdanova who is based in Russia.
The Minister was accompanied at the Summit by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Seychelles to the African Union, Ambassador Conrad Mederic.