Russia’s Putin Hails Ties With African Union As It Turns 50

MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin called for closer cooperation with the African Union on Saturday, marking the organization’s 50th anniversary.

In his congratulating letter Putin praised the 53-member union’s role in a wide range of international and regional issues, including its peacekeeping efforts and economic development, the Kremlin said.

The president “stressed out Russia’s interest in boosting further cooperation with the union,” the statement said.

Russia’s envoy in the African region, Mikhail Margelov, read Putin’s letter at the union’s summit in Addis Ababa marking 50 years since its foundation on Saturday.

The African Union, earlier named the Organization of African Unity, was founded in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa in 1963 to help gain independence from their colonial masters.

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