President Ramaphosa, EU Council President hold bilateral call

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

President Cyril Ramaphosa has held a bilateral telephone conversation with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.

According to a statement by the Presidency, the conversation was a positive and constructive discussion on bilateral, regional, and global issues.

The statement said the two leaders also discussed the need for more engagement to address global peace and reaffirmed shared respect for international law.

“They both welcomed the recent bilateral South Africa-European Union Political and Security Dialogue Forum, and the Human Rights Dialogue held in Pretoria on 26 and 27 February 2024, and they agreed to continue stepping up cooperation to support stability and prosperity.

“In this regard, both Presidents discussed the importance of upholding the UN Charter and the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity notably in Ukraine. Furthermore, both Presidents stressed the importance of addressing urgently the situation in the Middle East, notably reaching a ceasefire in Gaza, release of hostages as well as the provision of humanitarian assistance, recalling the orders of the International Court of Justice in this respect,” the Presidency said.

On matters relating to tensions in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, “both underlined the importance of a political solution” in that country and also called for an “immediate and durable ceasefire” in Sudan.

Globally, the two leaders agreed to closer working relations in the run up to and during South Africa’s upcoming Presidency of the G20 in 2025 “including on the protection and advancement of multilateral cooperation and the international rules-based order”.

The strategic partnership between South Africa and the European Union – which has brought economic and social dividends for both parties – also came under discussion.

“They welcomed recent engagements in Brussels and in Pretoria to deepen and expand the partnership to new areas of mutual interest, such as strategic value chains in the sectors of green hydrogen, critical minerals and vaccines, which will also support progress in regional integration and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“Against this framework of close and regular cooperation, both Presidents agreed to hold a bilateral Summit at earliest convenience,” the statement concluded. –