President of the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou-Nguesso, has been awarded in a solemn ceremony the diploma of the Honorary Doctor at the State University of International Affairs (MGIMO) under the Russian Ministry of the Russian Federation.
Sassou-Nguesso was on an official working visit, May 22 to 24, at the invitation from the Kremlin. He held business talks with President Vladimir Putin and the Speaker of State Duma, the lower Chamber of Legislators and business community.
As Guest of Honour, Sassou-Nguesso attended a special meeting with the management of the University and gave a doctoral talk to students and faculty members. The Congolese delegation comprised Foreign Minister Jean-Claude Gakosso, Ambassador of Congo in Moscow, David Madouka, and Presidential Adviser, Françoise Joly.
MGIMO’s Vice-Rector for General Affairs, Artem Malgin, introduced the members of the delegation, remarking that “MGIMO frequently receives renowned guests, but some visitors are truly exceptional, and as we welcome a person who witnessed and participated in many events that students read about in textbooks or find out about with their lecturers in class.”
Malgin highlighted the main stages of Sassou-Nguesso’s political career, commented on the deepening of relations between Russian and African countries and the Russia-Africa summit scheduled for October this year.
The decision, taken by the University’s Academic Council to award Denis Sassou-Nguesso the title of “Honorary Doctor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations” in recognition of his great contribution to the expansion of relations between Russia and the Republic of Congo.
Malgin gave the guest the cloak and diploma of honorary doctor and invited him to deliver a traditional doctoral lecture.
In his turn, Sassou-Nguesso expressed his gratitude for the academic award, and further noted that the MGIMO is part of a group of leading Russian educational institutions with an impeccable reputation.
“It is a pleasure to announce that cooperation in education between Russia and the Republic of Congo is flourishing. The education received by our students in Russia has greatly contributed to the development of our country. I hope that the cooperation with MGIMO will continue,” he said.
During his lecture, the President spoke about the diplomatic and negotiation techniques in his country and emphasized the fact that Soviet diplomacy was a source of inspiration and progress for many African countries such as the Republic of Congo.
Sassou-Nguesso recounted in details the signing of the Brazzaville Protocol, the events that preceded it, the end of the apartheid and shared his hope for peace on the African continent. The lecture was followed by an extended question and answer session.