Italian Foreign Minister urged not to leave Africa “in Chinese hands”


The unity of the European Union (EU) is crucial for relations within NATO and with African countries, so it would be a mistake to leave this continent to China. This was announced on Sunday, February 19, by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Italy Antonio Tajani at the Munich Security Conference.

“Leaving Africa in Chinese hands would be a big mistake for us. Africa is key to us,” Tajani said.

He stressed that the priorities for ensuring the independence of the EU on the world stage are “security, stability and growth.”

“And security is also our commitment to the fight against terrorism: the Islamic State (ISIS, a terrorist organization, banned in the Russian Federation) does not sleep, it is present in Iraq, and Al-Qaeda (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia) operates in the Sahel region,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

According to him, the European Union needs to think about strengthening its security at all frontiers, including from the African continent.

“We need European security if we want to be stronger within NATO. Therefore, if we want to protect ourselves, we must invest more in European defense,” Tajani summed up.

Western leaders have recently become concerned not only about the possibility of increasing Chinese influence on the African continent, but also about the ongoing development of Russia’s relations with African countries.

So, on February 16, Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt told Al Jazeera that Oslo was cooperating with African countries to weaken Russia’s influence. She noted that Russia’s influence undermines stability.

On February 11, Russian Ambassador to Chad Vladimir Sokolenko said that the West is resorting to pressure on African countries because of their course towards friendly relations with Russia. According to him, the West’s set of tools for solving such a problem as the success of Russian diplomacy and the crisis of the West, the traditional one is “constant cynicism, pressure, speculation and provocation.” The listed methods are especially typical for the modern realities of total opposition to Russia.

In January, during his tour of African countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pointed to the desire of the US and the EU to restore Africa’s colonial dependence. The minister began his trip with a visit to South Africa, where he met with the head of the South African Foreign Ministry, Naledi Pandor. He also visited Eswatini and Angola, following talks with the president of which Lavrov said that the initiative to create a BRICS currency would be discussed at a summit in South Africa in August.

Earlier, back in July 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation noted that Russia’s relations with African countries are based on time-tested “bonds of friendship and cooperation.” He stated that the development of a comprehensive partnership with African countries remains among the important priorities of Russia’s foreign policy.


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