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African leaders to visit Ukraine, Russia this year to promote peace — South African envoy

According to Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka, such a visit could take place after the elections in South Africa in the summer of 2024

MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. The leaders of seven African countries participating in the peace initiative on Ukraine (Egypt, Zambia, the Comoros, Senegal, Republic of the Congo, Uganda and South Africa) plan to visit Ukraine and Russia again with the intention to persuade Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to start negotiations with Moscow, South Africa's Ambassador to Russia Mzuvukile Jeff Maqetuka has told TASS.

"[Zelensky] introduced a law that forbids him from negotiating with President Putin. He decreed a law. Now, he was pushing that to the African leaders. It's a rhetorical question as far as I'm concerned. Because now, it will be up to Kiev to respond to the African leaders as to how they are going to resolve that problem. It's up to Kiev. But because the peace initiative seeks to assist in the resolution of that problem, therefore, I am expecting that the next round, when it takes place, it will start again in Kiev with this issue. Because the African leaders have got to go and report to President Zelensky what transpired in St. Petersburg. And then, of course, come back from Kiev to say to Putin, look, there are no issues anymore. Zelensky says this. And our hope is that Zelensky would say, I am ready to negotiate," he said.

According to the ambassador, such a visit could take place after the elections in South Africa in the summer of 2024.

In June 2023, representatives from seven African states led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa visited Kiev and St. Petersburg to present their 10-point peace plan: de-escalation of the conflict on both sides, diplomatic negotiations, measures to ensure the sovereignty of states in accordance with the UN Charter, POW exchange, post-war reconstruction, etc. In response to some of these points, Putin pointed out that Ukraine itself had quit the negotiations with Russia, although a peace agreement had been initialed in Istanbul. The Russian leader demonstrated a copy of that agreement.