By Ntombi Mhlongo and Bahle Gama
The Russian Federation has committed to stepping up military cooperation with the Kingdom of Eswatini if the latter files a request.
This was announced yesterday during the courtesy visit by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation His Excellency Sergey Lavrov at the Cabinet Offices.
The visiting minister said as part of the relationship between the two countries, the Russian Federation supports Eswatini in the education sector as law enforcers do visit that country to undertake training courses.
He said currently there were about 50 Eswatini nationals currently undertaking courses with the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence.
“We have also agreed to step up our military cooperation to improve the security situation with our Eswatini friends. We have an agreement on military cooperation signed and we have confirmed our commitment to step up our cooperation in this area,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Thuli Dladla mentioned that the two countries have had several interactions facilitated through their representation in Maputo.
“This visit is a testimony to the hard work and efforts that your representative office has put in; it is an affirmation of the long history of cordiality between the Kingdom of Eswatini and the Russian Federation. Friends do need to make real-time contact in order to ensure long-term projections of common permanent interest,” the minister said.
She highlighted that the Kingdom of Eswatini remains deeply concerned about the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“Our prayer is in the belief that our Brotherly State, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine will find an amicable solution soon. Eswatini believes that the use of dialogue and other peaceful methods of intervention will assist the sovereign states in ending the conflict,” said the minister.
Furthermore, the minister lamented how Russia has never wavered to play a significant role in assisting the Kingdom of Eswatini’s domestic agenda on higher education, service training, and other areas of common value.
She recounted that the Kingdom of Eswatini has a healthy number of doctors manning hospitals who are proudly trained in Russia.
“This is a clear demonstration of your commitment to Eswatini and could be the most pragmatic option, by far, towards creating an unbreakable rapport from people to people,” Dladla said.
Meanwhile, the visiting minister highlighted how his country would be happy to host His Majesty King Mswati III during the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit scheduled for July this year.