A telephone conversation took place on June 18 between Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Tabo Mbeki. This was announced by the press-service of the President of the Russian Federation. The leaders of the two countries made clear the traditional friendly character of the their relationship and their mutual aim to develop collaboration in various fields.
In speaking of the summit in Kananaskis (Canada) planned for June 26 to 28, in which a range of leaders of African countries have been invited to participate, including Tabo Mbeki, Vladimir Putin remarked that Russia would continue its course towards advancing collaboration with the countries of African continent, including the issues related to the programme entitled 'New partnership for the development of Africa'. Putin spoke of the role of South Africa in African affairs, and mentioned in particular that the first summit of the successors of the Organisation of African Unity (the African Union) would take place between July 8 and 10 of this year, and will be presided over by Mbeki.
In his turn, the South African president said that Africa expects something new from the meetings in Kananaskis and hopes for serious and concrete results. Mbeki expressed his satisfaction with that in this matter Africans can count on Russia as a reliable partner.
At the end of the discussions, Putin congratulated Mbeki on his 60th birthday.