Andrey Kemarsky, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Africa, said his country would continue to make significant contribution to efforts by the international community to solve conflicts in Africa.
“We have a complex set of problems, which, in terms of terrorist threats, affects primarily the Sahara-Sahel region.
“In our opinion, the most difficult situation is in Mali. The groups operating in this zone are trying to extend their subversive activities to neighboring countries, such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, and Chad.
“Coordination of activities of such groups with organized and transnational crime often aggravates the already difficult situations,” said Kemarsky.
He was speaking on day two of the inter-parliamentary conference underway in Moscow.
The session was on “Russian-African security cooperation as a factor for peace and stability in Africa: role of Parliaments”.
Mr. Kemarsky said cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, transnational crime, piracy, drug trafficking was a priority agenda on Russia-Africa relations.
He added that “we stand for the consistent development of diverse cooperation with the African Union and other sub-regional organizations on the basis of the principle formulated by Africans themselves “African solutions to African problems”.
Russia was ready “for even closer cooperation with African partners within the UN and its Security Counci”.
“We highly appreciate the desire of the African Union to the early completion of the formation of the permanent readiness forces established within the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture.
“We continue to assist African states in strengthening their national capacity to fight radical groups,” he said.
He asked that legislatures should be included in the fight against the terrorist threat, saying, “we believe that the exchange of experience in creating a regulatory framework relating to all aspects of combating terrorist threats could be one of the main areas of future inter-parliamentary interaction.
“It is also an exchange of experience in the field of social problems, problems of youth, problems of civilization dialogue, interfaith and intercultural relations.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Kingdom of Morocco, Habib El Malki, underlined the need for strong interaction between Russia and African countries in the fight against global threats, pointed that contemporary challenges required united efforts to tackle.
“The consequences of climate change are very dangerous. Today, we face the danger of terrorism, which is transnational and is a dangerous challenge. And at the same time, we are witnessing conflicts that are no longer a national phenomenon, because, there are huge flows of refugees as a result,” he said.
The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Rebecca Kadaga, noted that the forum provided the participants new opportunities.
“This is a very important tool for strengthening cooperation and discuss all the emerging issues. I think this is a very important platform for sharing best practices and exchanging of our experiences and make the right conclusions.”
In his opening speech on the first day, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said “the situation in the world remains challenging, and is getting even more challenging in some parts. Old conflicts are not settled, and new tensions arise. In this context, cooperation between legislative bodies becomes especially important.”
The conference, he said, was an important platform for dialogue among countries, united by common problems and challenges, to find possible ways to resolve theses for the benefit of everybody.