African leader hails ‘historic’ visit to Russia
The transitional president of the Republic of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby, described his visit to Moscow as “historic” during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday.
Prior to the talks, the Chadian leader and a delegation from the central African country laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the center of the Russian capital.
“This visit is historic, Chad and Russia have very long-standing relations, the last visit of the president of Chad was in 1968, when Mr. Francois [Tombalbaye] was president,” Deby said.
At his meeting with Deby, Putin announced the preparation of measures that will expand cooperation between the two countries, noting that relations have strengthened significantly in recent years.
“A solid package of documents is being prepared that will strengthen and expand our legal and contractual base. I hope that our colleagues will complete this work in the near future,” the Russian leader stated.
Putin also pointed out that 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states. “Within the United Nations, we try to provide support, including in the humanitarian sphere,” the Russian leader stressed, stating that Moscow would make further efforts in this area.
“We have doubled the quota for Chadian students studying in the Russian Federation, and we are still ready to double it in the next two years,” he added.
Putin also expressed hope that the general elections in Chad scheduled for this year will be held “at a high level,” and said Russia will do its utmost to support N’Djamena.
In October 2022, Deby was appointed the head of a military leadership in Chad following the killing of his father by rebels in April 2021. The authorities and opposition reached an agreement to extend the transition period until 2024.
A referendum last December resulted in the adoption of the Chadian Constitution, which permits Deby to run for president. The government commission that organized the referendum reported that 86% of voters approved it.