The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has praised South Africa as a “vital voice” as he held a meeting with the president Cyril Ramaphosa at the White House for talks that will touch on efforts to control the climate crisis, along with putting an end to the war in Ukraine.
Prior to the talks began, Biden said to Ramaphosa that, “Our partnership is crucial in addressing many of the world’s pressing issues… and South Africa is an important voice on the world stage.”
Biden said that, “We have a lot to talk about. A lot is happening around the globe.”
While addressing the media, senior Biden administration official said that , “the President of United States wanted to held discussion about the ongoing battle in Ukraine with Ramaphosa, and hear the South African leader’s ideas on the best way forward.”
Biden, who has led an international alliance in applying a slew of economic sanctions against President Putin over the war, wants South Africa’s assistance in those efforts.
But the government of South Africa has resisted calls to denounce Russia for the invasion directly.
The nation, which has close historical relations with Moscow because the Soviet Union supports the anti-apartheid struggle, refrained from a United Nations vote condemning the invasion of Ukraine.
In late May, Ramaphosa said that “Bystander nations” were paying the price of Western sanctions on Russia. He said at that time, “Even those nations that are either bystanders or not part of the battle are also going to suffer from the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia.”
South Africa’s international relations minister, Naledi Pandor, on Friday stated that Ramaphosa would highlight the need for dialogue to find an end to the war.
Pandor mentioned that the issue will be South Africa’s focus when it takes part in the yearly meeting of the UNGA-United Nations General Assembly next week.