A delegation of the joint African initiative to settle Russian-Ukrainian crisis met on Saturday with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg to present elements of the African initiative.
The African delegation included the Presidents of South Africa, Senegal, the Comoros, and Zambia, and representatives of Uganda and the Republic of the Congo, in addition to Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
The meeting also addressed the future of the grain deal, food security and prisoner exchanges.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Madbouly participated in an extended meeting held by the heads of the Joint African Initiative to contribute to the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sameh Shoukry, the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was also present.
During the session, Madbouly delivered Egypt’s speech and confirmed Egypt’s support for efforts to settle the Russian-Ukrainian crisis.
He explained that African leaders are aware of the depth of the crisis and its severe repercussions on the citizens of both parties to the conflict, as well as the African citizen in general.
This joint effort aims to put an end to the ongoing military conflict that has claimed the lives of many military personnel and civilians and continues to cast a dangerous shadow on the resources and food security of the people. To achieve this, an immediate ceasefire and a path to serious negotiations is necessary.
Madbouly acknowledged that the mission of the African leaders came to the two countries under extremely difficult and complicated circumstances, which provides evidence that this effort is sincere and aimed at reaching a comprehensive and sustainable settlement.
He emphasized that this can only be achieved by upholding the voice of reason and avoiding the continued use of the language of force.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed that Putin would also hold a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
On Friday, the African delegation visited Kiev where they held talks with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and stressed the need to end the conflict as soon as possible.
Ramaphosa earlier noted that the purpose of their trip to Ukraine and Russia was to try to define a framework to end the crisis peacefully.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed details of the peace plan for Ukraine.
According to the South African president, the African plan has 10 main items:
– Achieving peace through negotiations through diplomatic means.
– Peace negotiations must begin as soon as possible.
– De-escalation of the conflict on both sides.
– To ensure the sovereignty of States and peoples in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
-Security guarantees for all countries.
– Guarantee the export of grain and fertilizers from the two countries.
– Provide humanitarian support to those who have been victims of war.
– Settlement of the issue of the exchange of prisoners of war and the return of children.
-Post-war reconstruction and assistance to war victims.
-Provide closer interaction with African countries.
For its part, Reuters reported that the peace initiative on Ukraine includes a series of “confidence-building measures,” the implementation of which could lay the groundwork for negotiations between the two countries.
After meeting with the African delegation, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky stressed his opposition to a freeze of the Ukrainian conflict.
He reiterated the demand for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory that Kiev considers its territory.
The African delegation’s objective is to “activate the importance of peace and to encourage the parties to agree on a negotiating process led by diplomats,” press sources unveiled a “framework document” that was not officially published.
“The conflict and the sanctions imposed on Russia by the African continent’s major trading partners have adversely affected African economies and livelihoods,” the document says.
The document outlines a number of actions that African leaders may offer as the first stage in their engagement with the parties to the conflict.
Measures could include withdrawing Russian troops, withdrawing tactical nuclear weapons from Belarus, suspending the arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and easing sanctions against Russia.
According to the document, the proposed measures “should be aimed at facilitating an atmosphere conducive to a ceasefire, which would allow the parties to build confidence and consider formulating their strategies for restoring peace.”
A ceasefire would require negotiations between Russia and the West on the deployment of medium-range, tactical nuclear weapons and biological weapons, the document added.