OAN’s Roy Francis
9:40 AM – Wednesday, May 17, 2023
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have agreed to meet with a delegation of leaders from Africa to discuss possible ways to end the war.
“Principal to our discussions are efforts to find a peaceful resolution to the devastating conflict in the Ukraine,” Ramaphosa said.
The delegation will consist of the leaders of Zambia, Senegal, Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Egypt along with Ramaphosa. The meetings with Putin and Zelenskyy will be held separately in Moscow and Kyiv.
The South African leader did not give any specifics that will be discussed, or a timeline. However, Zelenskyy has previously stated that he will not consider any peace deal until all Russian forces are completely withdrawn from Ukraine.
Ramaphosa and Putin reportedly held separate phone conversations with the two leaders over the weekend and they had both agreed to host a peace mission by the African leaders who would travel to both countries.
United Nations Secretary General was supportive and “welcomed the initiative” the South African President said.
“As we’ve said before, we are in favor of any initiative that could lead us to a peace in line with the (U.N.) Charter, in line with international law and in line with General Assembly resolutions,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
However, the demands of the two warring countries differ greatly. Russia wants Kyiv to acknowledge Russia annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, along with the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia.
On the other hand, Ukraine has rejected the demands by the Kremlin and demands that Russia pull back all its troops from Ukrainian territory, along with a tribunal to prosecute crimes of aggression that have been committed during the war by Russia.
While the African leaders prepare to lead the peace mission, Ramaphosa has recently come under fire due to accusations of supporting and sending weapons aid to Russia.
Last week, United States Ambassador to South Africa alleged that in December, a Russian-flagged cargo ship had been loaded with weapons at a South African naval base, which had then set sail for Russia.
South Africa denied sending aid to Russian and continued to claim that its position in the war is neutral. Ramaphosa said that his administration is investigating the matter.
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