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Ramaphosa tells Putin ‘war must be settled’

This handout picture taken by RIA Novosti on June 17, 2023 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) speaking with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa (R) following a meeting with delegation of African leaders at the Constantine (Konstantinovsky) Palace in Strelna, outside Saint Petersburg. (Photo by Evgeny Biatov / RIA NOVOSTI / AFP)

Moscow: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is in Russia as part of a peace-seeking delegation, on Saturday told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the conflict in Ukraine had to stop.

“This war must be settled… through negotiations and through diplomatic means,” said Ramaphosa.

He added that his delegation, consisting of seven African leaders, “would like this war to be ended.

“This war is having a negative impact on the African continent and indeed on many other countries around the world,” Ramaphosa said ahead of formal talks with the Russian president.

On Friday, the delegation held talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

“We have come to listen to you and through you to hear the voice of the Russian people,” said Comoros President Azali Assoumani, who currently heads the African Union.

“We wanted to encourage you to enter into negotiations with Ukraine,” he said.

African countries have been divided over their response to the conflict, with some siding with Ukraine, while others have remained neutral or gravitated towards Moscow.

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