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Tuesday, 10 February 2015 22:51

Zimbabwe: Putin Congratulates President on Ascension

MugabethBy Felex Share

HARARE, Zimbabwe, February 10, 2014 (The Herald) -- Russia has congratulated President Mugabe following his recent election as African Union chairman, with President Vladimir Putin stating that his country is interested in strengthening existing relations with African countries.

In his congratulatory message, President Putin said Russia highly appreciated the AU's role in international affairs and its assistance in managing regional conflicts and said that Russia would continue offering "comprehensive" assistance to the AU.

"Please, accept my sincere congratulations on the occasion of your election as the chairman of the African Union," said President Putin.

"We highly appreciate the constructive role of the African Union in international affairs, its significant contribution to the settlement of regional conflicts and crises, in the solution of the pressing social and economic problems of the continent."

He further said, "The Russian side is interested in further strengthening partnerships with the African states and intends to continue to actively participate in the efforts of the international community to provide comprehensive assistance to Africa."

"I am confident it is in line with ensuring stability, security and sustainable development on the whole planet. I wish you good health, prosperity and every success in your responsible mission," the Russian leader said.

This comes after South Africa International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said President Mugabe had discharged his duties at the just-ended 24th Ordinary Summit of the African Union General Assembly in a "professional manner".

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa had no reservations with the way President Mugabe had chaired the AU Summit where he assumed the chairmanship.

"He was elected unanimously by his peers as the chair for 2015 and we think he chaired the meeting at the AU very well. We have no qualms about it," she told reporters in Pretoria.

Meanwhile, the Secretariat of the All Africa Students Union (AASU) - a continental representative of democratic students union in all 55 countries in Africa - also welcomed President Mugabe's ascension, saying his election was a demonstration of the "confidence of his peers in his leadership ability and "testimony of the important role he has been playing in awaking the African people to all the problems facing them in order to resolve them collectively."

In its congratulatory message, AASU said President Mugabe should leave no stone unturned in endeavours geared towards the prosperity of African people. "There is no doubt that the AU has achieved major successes, but could have even done more if the socio-economic and political integration of the countries is deepened," the students' body said.

"African countries as they exist now are weak and their viability is even questionable as recent events in Mali, Central African Republic can testify. As he assumes the mantle of the chairmanship of the continental body, we urge His Excellency not to leave any stone unturned in all endeavours geared toward the socio-economic, cultural and political integration of African countries -- (which are the) sole guaranty for peace and prosperity for the people of the continent.

"We urge His Excellency (President) Robert Mugabe to undertake actions that will create a favourable environment for rapid and sustainable development on the continent, which will also contribute to addressing the youth unemployment challenges."

President Mugabe assumed the chairmanship of the AU on January 30 despite spirited attempts by Zimbabwe's traditional detractors from the West.

Western countries, led by the United States, were issuing veiled threats against the AU, saying the continental body should refuse to be led by a man and country under sanctions.

They wanted to control the AU on the basis that they accounted for over 60 percent of the AU's budget.

The AU and other progressive bodies have condemned the illegal sanctions which have cost Zimbabwe over $42 billion.

The significance of President Mugabe's crowning moment lay not only in the fact that Zimbabwe had completed its transmission from an agenda item to leadership at that proud hour, but in that Africa thumped its nose at westerners who have long portrayed Zimbabwe and President Mugabe as pariahs on the continent.

The election was also a virtual vindication of Zimbabwe's trajectory which is today mirrored in the Africa Union's Agenda 2063, the continental development plan for the next 50 years that reflects many of the tenets of Zim-Asset, Zimbabwe's economic blueprint for the five-year period, 2013 to 2018. (Source: The Herald)

 

 
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