African peace delegation tells Zelensky that conflict must end
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that African countries are ready to continue cooperating on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Friday in Kiev that the African delegation of leaders for the peace mission in Ukraine told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that it is of utmost necessity for the conflict to end promptly.
"Even when the conflict becomes the most intense, that is when peace should be made," Ramaphosa told a press conference.
The South African leader noted that it is better to end the conflict before everything is lost and that African countries are ready to continue cooperating on the settlement of the Ukrainian conflict.
"We, as the African countries. are prepared to participate in further engagement," Ramaphosa stated.
Ramaphosa further said that the peace mission initiated by African nations is a "historic mission in a quest for peace" and that a key element of it is to listen to both the positions of Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Ukrainian President has on his part rejected the possibility of peace talks with Russia unless it withdraws all its troops and returns the annexed territories. Zelensky noted that any negotiations would merely freeze the conflict.
Earlier today, European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said that the EU will not support the initiative of African leaders on the Ukraine settlement if it involves freezing conflict.
"We welcome all constructive initiatives that can lead to peace. We support the Ukrainian president [Volodymyr Zelenskyy's] 10 points peace plan, we want peace that will restore Ukraine and its rights in its sovereignty and its territory. If others are able to get Russia to get out of Ukraine, then we will certainly fully endorse that. If it is about a ceasefire, freezing positions where they are, etc, what we say is that is not peace and that is not a rightful peace, that is our position," Mamer told reporters, commenting on Africa's plan.
On May 16, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the Russian and Ukrainian presidents have agreed to meet with a delegation of African leaders to discuss a possible peace deal to the Ukrainian crisis. Several African countries had agreed at the time to take part in a peace initiative with the aim of settling the Ukraine conflict. The countries that partook in this initiative include Zambia, Senegal, the Congo, Uganda, Egypt, and South Africa.
Four African presidents, including Ramaphosa, have just completed a meeting with Zelensky in Kiev on June 16. A meeting with Putin is scheduled for June 17.