Ramaphosa, Biden talk after S. Africa abstained from UN Russia vote
The US President and his South African counterpart have held a phone call after the latter described the UN Security Council as "outdated" and in dire need of an overhaul.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa held Friday telephone talks with US President Joe Biden, a day after the African country abstained from voting on a resolution suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over the war in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa, whose government has been criticized for refusing to condemn Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, had a day earlier described the UN Security Council as "outdated" and in dire need of an overhaul.
It was the third time South Africa abstained from voting on resolutions adopted over the war in Ukraine.
On Twitter, Ramaphosa said he had "a productive" telephone call with Biden.
"We shared views on the conflict in Ukraine and agreed on the need for a ceasefire and dialogue between Ukraine and Russia," the South African President wrote.
I had a productive call with US President @JoeBiden earlier this evening. As part of deepening relations, we agreed to set up a team to strengthen trade, increase investment in infrastructure and work to tackle climate change. pic.twitter.com/NTris3xHfr— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 8, 2022
Local media suggest Biden initiated the call
The White House pointed out in a readout of the call that Biden "emphasized the strength of the bilateral partnership, as well as global challenges brought on by Russia's further invasion of Ukraine."
The US President stressed "the need for a clear, unified international response" to Russian aggression in Ukraine," the statement said.
Local media suggested it was Biden who initiated the call to Ramaphosa.
Second ever suspension from UNHRC
On Thursday, Ramaphosa sharply criticized the UN Security Council for enabling powerful nations to use their influence to make decisions that were at times catastrophic.
"The current formation of the UN Security Council is outdated and unrepresentative," he considered, adding that "it disadvantages countries with developing economies."