South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting with the Russian President at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg. PHOTO: Ramil Sitdikov
International News

President Ramaphosa Praises Historic Africa Mission For Peace In Ukraine

South African President Ramaphosa expressed great admiration for the African mission’s historical significance in its pursuit of peace in Ukraine.

And after concluding his meetings in Kyiv and Saint Petersburg, the high profile delegation, led by President Ramaphosa, returned without immediate breathroughs.

The delegation engaged in constructive discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday and proceeded to Russia, where they held meaningful dialogues with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday.

President Ramaphosa lauded the mission’s importance and the efforts exerted during their diplomatic endeavours despite the absence of immediate results.

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“This initiative has been historic in that it is the first time African leaders have embarked on a peace mission beyond the shores of the continent,” Ramaphosa said on Monday.

The mission conveyed the concerns of a continent that has endured significant hardships due to the aftermath of the Ukraine conflict, particularly the surge in grain prices.

It presented a comprehensive 10-point plan, encompassing measures such as de-escalation, recognition of national sovereignty, facilitating unobstructed grain exports via the Black Sea, and repatriating prisoners of war and children to their respective countries.

However, the Kremlin considered these principles as “challenging to implement,” while Zelensky rejected any talks with Moscow until Russian forces withdrew from Ukrainian territories.

Recently, Ramaphosa acknowledged that a major accomplishment of the mission was the positive reception it received from both sides, which instilled optimism that the proposals would be seriously considered.

Both Zelensky and Putin have agreed to continue engaging in further discussions, as confirmed by Ramaphosa.

According to analysts, the efforts to establish peace are increasingly precarious, as both Kyiv and Moscow remain convinced of their potential military victories.

Earlier this month, Ukraine initiated a long-anticipated counteroffensive.

“It is our hope that as the process moves forward, a foundation can be set for a de-escalation of the conflict and negotiation,” Ramaphosa said.

The diplomatic delegation comprised the presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Comoros, and Zambia, along with senior officials from Uganda, Egypt, and Congo-Brazzaville.

Earlier this month, Ukraine initiated a long-anticipated counteroffensive.

It is our hope that as the process moves forward, a foundation can be set for a de-escalation of the conflict and negotiation,” Ramaphosa wrote.The diplomatic delegation comprised the presidents of South Africa, Senegal, Comoros, and Zambia, along with senior officials from Uganda, Egypt, and Congo-Brazzaville.