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RUSSIA/AFRICA SUMMIT: Cameroon’s President Paul Biya to attend the Sotchi slated meeting

29.03.2019
Article from AFRIC Editorial
Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has been officially invited to take part in the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit which is set to run from October 22 to 24, 2019. This message was conveyed to President Biya by the visiting Russian ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon Anatoly Bashkin. The Cameroon head of state and the Russian Ambassador met at the unity palace on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

According to information from Cameroon official webpage, both leaders discussed cooperation ties between Yaoundé and Moscow and promised to take their relationship to another level. They also talked on the upcoming Russia-Africa Forum during their tete-a-tete discussions which lasted for over two hours. In his twitter page, President Paul Biya wrote’’ “I received in audience on March 27, 2019, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Bashkin. The Russian diplomat conveyed to me the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, to take part in the next Russia-Africa Summit, to hold in Sochi in October.”

Other Areas of discussion

Addressing the Cameroon press after meeting President Paul Biya, Anatoly Bashkin said the meetup gave them the opportunity to discuss not only the Russia-Cameroon ties in the social, political and humanitarian spheres, but also accorded them an opportunity to examine issues that have defined the international scene over the years, citing conflicts and insurgency.

President Biya responds positively to Putin’s invitation

As confirmed by the Russian ambassador, the leadership of Cameroon reacted positively to the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to be fully represented in the October slated Moscow-Africa meeting. President Biya promised an active participation of Cameroon in the summit that seeks to discuss Moscow-Africa relations. It will hold from October 22 to the 24th, 2019. President Biya’s swift and affirmative response actually came as a surprise to his critics. President Biya has been largely seen as one of those presidents in Africa who rarely participates in continental summits.  Incumbent President Paul Biya was recently elected the president of Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa States (CEMAC), during the 14TH CEMAC summit on March 24, 2019, in Chad.

Opinion

Reacting to Biya’s reply to President Putin’s invitation, a political pundit who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that the strained relation between Yaoundé and the White House largely explains Biya’s response. According to him, the recent announcement by Washington to curtail its military assistance to Cameroon, after an allegation of rights violations by Cameroon Military posed a threat to existing security ties between Yaoundé and the white house.  He noted that President Biya is on the verge of seeking other security partners, thus the need to fully cooperate with Russia.

Russia-Africa forum

A business meeting in Russian attended by Anton Kobyakov, advisor to Russian President Putin, and Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), gave birth to the Russia-Africa forum slated for October this year. Prior to the October forum, Afreximbank shareholders are set to meet in June 2019 to discuss future events pertaining to a high-level discourse between countries at major subsequent business events.  Thus the forthcoming Moscow-Africa forum, a first of its kind is a platform or an occasion for President Putin and his African counterparts to discuss ways to uplift Russia-Africa ties that largely dwindled after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Business magnates are also expected to be part of this historic gathering. It should be noted that Africa is en route to economic transformation, thus pundits have seen the marriage with Russia as a positive drive towards attaining this growth. Russia greatly assisted many African nations during the quest for independence. Russia’s Position in the international scene shows that its presence in Africa looks promising.

Article from AFRIC Editorial

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