South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is encouraged by what he described as the “positive reception” of Ukraine and Russia during a “historic” peace mission to the two warring countries by seven African leaders and representatives, including Ramaphosa.
“It is the first time African leaders have embarked on a peace mission beyond the shores of the continent,” Ramaphosa said.
“We affirmed that the sovereignty of countries should be respected in line with the principles of the United Nations Charter,” Ramaphosa wrote in a statement.
“We highlighted the urgent need that the security of both nations should be guaranteed,” he continued.
He added that African leaders are primarily concerned for the victims of the conflict, and that “everything should be done to end the fighting to prevent further loss of life, injury, displacement and destruction”.
The leaders’ proposals included a recognition of each countries’ sovereignty as well as continued unhindered grain exports through the Black Sea.
On Monday, the Kremlin said it would continue talks but on Saturday Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to dismiss large chunks of the plan.
Ukraine also appeared lukewarm.
The African delegation, which included leaders and representatives from South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, Congo-Brazzaville, Comoros, Zambia, and Uganda, met President Volodymyr Zelensky and President Vladimir Putin at the end of last week and over the weekend.
The make up of the group had been designed for breadth and balance, with members from different parts of Africa who have different views on the conflict.