Ramaphosa says Ukraine-Russia talks will bring lasting peace

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Ramaphosa ukraine russia peace talks
Photo: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated that dialogue and negotiation is the only way to build lasting peace and cooperation not only in the Ukraine-Russia conflict but throughout the globe.

The President was delivering his opening remarks at the Joint Working Visit by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, and the Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen.

“If we are to bridge the growing divides between nations, between regions and between the Global North and South then we must begin with dialogue.

“We must work to create a peaceful and prosperous world by building mutually beneficial partnerships that support the aspirations of all our peoples,” he said.

Reflecting on the African Peace Mission to Ukraine and Russia, President Ramaphosa said the delegation impressed upon the two leaders the importance of finding a peaceful solution and the particularly harsh impact the conflict continues to have on African nations.

“Among other things, we called for a de-escalation of fighting and for negotiations to commence with urgency; for the release of prisoners of war and return of children; for greater humanitarian support; and for reconstruction efforts to be prioritised.

“We used the meetings to highlight the damaging effect that this conflict is having on African countries and economies, contributing to food shortages and a rise in the cost of living,” he said.

The President said the mission was “successful in registering the willingness of African leaders to contribute to a negotiated peace and to highlight the broader effects of the conflict”.

“We hope that it will contribute in some way towards international peace efforts. For us the most important outcome was the commitment on both sides to continue engaging with us to take our discussions forward so that we can join the two countries together on the road to peace,” he said.

Energy cooperation

Turning to the Working State Visit, President Ramaphosa highlighted that the visit by the two delegations presented an opportunity to engage in ways that the countries can collaborate to find solutions to South Africa’s energy challenges.

“You will be familiar with the pressure on our electricity network and the impact it has on the South African economy. For this reason, your visit and our engagements on closer cooperation in the energy space are very opportune and important.

“Renewable energy forms an increasingly important part of our energy mix and is vital to both the achievement of a just transition and greater energy security. We hope to benefit from closer cooperation with your countries in this regard,” he said.

The President welcomed the delegations and called for deepening of relations.

“This joint Working Visit is indicative of our shared objectives in the areas in which we cooperate. Both your countries have long and historic relationships with South Africa, which have grown in substance and diversity over recent years. I know that you appreciate the mutual benefit that we can derive from this relationship, but you also understand the challenges we face.

“As South Africa, we are grateful to count Denmark and the Netherlands as longstanding partners in our progress and development,” he said. – SA Gov News

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