Malawi President Mutharika Gets 'Bread and Salt' On Arrival in Sochi for Russia-Africa Summit

21 October 2019

Malawian President Peter Mutharika on Monday arrived at Sochi Airport in the city of Sochi, Krasnodar Territory, Russia to attend the first ever three-day Russia-Africa Summit holding from October 23 to October 25.

Mutharika left Malawi through Kamuzu International Airport for Russia in the morning hours of Monday, October 21 2019 for the summit whose purpose is to expand Russian-African cooperation in a number of areas -- including political, economic, technical and cultural.

At the end of the meeting to be chaired by Russian powerful President Vladimir Putin, the participants are expected to adopt a political declaration on the key areas of Russian-African cooperation.

Putin will co-chair the summit with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Over 40 African Heads of States and over 5000 delegates from the African Business communities, Diaspora organizations, as well as Russian business entities and Investors are expected to attend the conference.

Upon arrival, President Mutharika was welcomed by Deputy Mayor of Sochi, Malawian Ambassador in Russia Michael Kamphambe Nkhoma, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International relations Francis Kasaila and Malawians living in Russia.

According to Presidential spokeman Mgeme Kalilani, at the airport, Mutharika participated in the "bread and salt" cultural ceremony. In Russia , bread is associated with hospitality -being the most respected food, whereas salt, is associated with long friendship.

Meanwhile, Putin has given the clearest idea yet of his pitch to African countries, warning of rising competition over Africa. Turning the tables on the West, he accused it of intimidating African countries to exploit the continent's resources.

"We see how an array of Western countries are resorting to pressure, intimidation and blackmail of sovereign African governments," Putin told the TASS news agency.

Putin has said Moscow could offer help without strings attached unlike what he cast as the exploitative West.

On October 23, the leaders of Russia and Egypt will also open an economic forum that will be attended by Russian and African officials and representatives of major businesses, aiming to strengthen business cooperation and to sign new contracts.

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