EU to refuse Africa peace initiative if it involves 'conflict freeze'
The EU spokesman stressed that a conflict freeze would not amount to a rightful peace.
European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said on Friday 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, are scheduled to meet with Zelensky in Kiev on June 16, while a meeting with Putin will be held on June 17.
The Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will be unable to attend after he contracted COVID-19 while Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and the President of the Republic of the Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, have opted to send the Prime Minister and the head of the President's office respectively.
The absence of El-Sisi from the delegation is said to have weakened the scope of the initiative, as he is a heavyweight on the African scene, according to a diplomatic source of AFP.
Earlier today, it was reported that Ramaphosa had arrived in Ukraine without his protection service or his crew of reporters. The reason is that they were left stuck in the plane, which flew them to Warsaw on Thursday, and they were not allowed to leave due to allegations of weapons transportation.
Poland's customs guard said that Ramaphosa's security personnel voluntarily stayed on the plane as they did not have authorization for weapons transportation. The statement issued by the border guards made no reference to the journalists on the plane who were told they were also not allowed to leave the plane.