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Zelensky's office: South African president wants to come to Ukraine as part of 'peace initiative' delegation

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 17, 2023 3:55 PM 2 min read
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa makes a speech as he holds a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto (not seen) following their meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, on April 25, 2023. (Photo by Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to come to Ukraine on a "peace initiative" with the leaders of other African countries, President Volodymyr Zelensky's spokesperson Sergii Nykyforov confirmed to Ukrainska Pravda on May 17.

"During a telephone conversation on May 13, the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa informed Volodymyr Zelensky about the intention to come to Ukraine as part of a mission from several African countries," Nykyforov said.

According to Nykyforov, Zelensky welcomed the initiative and is ready to receive them in Ukraine and discuss Ukraine's existing peace formula.

News reports suggest that the leaders of Zambia, Senegal, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Egypt could join the coalition.

South Africa has been caught up in several public scandals regarding the war in Ukraine.

In mid-May, the U.S. accused South Africa of supplying weapons and ammunition to Russia. However, South Africa denied the accusation.

On April 30, South Africa's Sunday Times reported that South African officials were trying to persuade Russian dictator Vladimir Putin not to come to South Africa for a BRICS summit in August due to the International Criminal Court's warrant for his arrest.

South Africa, as one of the 123 countries party to the Rome Statute, would be obliged to execute arrest warrants issued by the ICC.

On April 25, Ramaphosa's office walked back on public statements he'd made considering withdrawing from the ICC due to its "unfair treatment" of other countries.

The office said the statement was a "communication error" that the African National Congress (ANC) made during a media briefing.

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