sassouCongo Brazzaville President Denis Sassou N’guesso conducted a working visit to the DRC on 2 September 2016 to meet with his counterpart Joseph Kabila and other political stakeholders.

Sassou was flanked by Congo Brazzaville Minister of Interior, Decentralisation and Local Development, Raymond Zéphirin Mboulou, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Congolese Diaspora, Jean-Claude Gakosso. President Kabila was flanked by DRC Chairperson of the Senate, Léon Kengo wa Dondo, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Aubin Minaku, Vice-Prime Minister for Interior and Security, Ebariste Boshab, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Raymond Tshibanda.

The two Heads of State held a face to face meeting at the DRC state house. According to a joint communiqué issued by the DRC presidency, the visit forms part of the bilateral cooperation between both countries and follows the visit conducted by Kabila to Sassou on 27 June 2016.

During their talks, the two presidents thrashed out the situation prevailing in their respective country and bilateral issues including the continuous movement of people and goods, environment-related matters following the Paris Agreement on Climate Change reached on 22 April 2016, given the importance of the Congo Basin forests in achieving sustainable development goals.

Also discussed by both presidents was the overall situation in central Africa and the world in advance of the UN 71th General Assembly that will be held in New York from 13 September 2016. They condemned the wave of terrorist violence in the region and around the globe, which has not spared eastern DRC, more specifically in Beni.

Addressing the electoral process in the DRC, Kabila and Sassou hailed the maturity of the DRC political stakeholders and the progress so far achieved towards the holding of the national political dialogue. They called upon an inclusive participation of the entire DRC political class under the mediation of the AU-appointed Facilitator who is backed by the International Support Group.

Both Heads of State concurred that the successful holding of the preparatory works for and the opening of the dialogue are key milestones for the holding of credible and peaceful elections. Which would guarantee stability in the DRC and in the region.

Closing their discussions, Kabila and Sassou took note of the excellent neighbourly relations between their countries and agreed to meet again at a time and venue to be set through diplomatic channels.