Zelensky Urges African Leaders to Advocate for Release of Political Prisoners in Meeting Prior to Russia Trip


Kyiv, Ukraine – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called upon the delegation of African leaders to raise the issue of political prisoners with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their upcoming visit to Russia on Saturday. Zelenskyy emphasized that the release of these prisoners would be a significant and impactful step towards peace. The group of African leaders, hailing from Comoros, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia, Egypt, the Republic of Congo, and Uganda, arrived in Ukraine as part of a peace mission aimed at bringing an end to the nearly 16-month-long conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

During a closed-door meeting, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, along with the four other African heads of state and government, joined President Zelenskyy at a news conference to discuss the purpose of their visit. President Ramaphosa acknowledged the negative impact of the ongoing conflict on Africa, highlighting the potential disruptions to food and fertilizer deliveries from Russia and Ukraine, which are crucial to many African nations.

Expressing empathy towards the Ukrainian people, President Ramaphosa emphasized the importance of resilience and the pursuit of peace. While recognizing Ukraine’s perspective on the war, he reiterated the need to bring the conflict to an end at the earliest possible opportunity.

President Zelenskyy expressed gratitude for the African leaders’ recognition and respect for the Ukrainian viewpoint and their commitment to helping resolve the conflict. He acknowledged the challenging road to peace but remained determined to continue fighting for a resolution that would bring stability to the region.

President Hakainde Hichilema expressed gratitude to President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine for their graciousness in hosting the delegation under challenging circumstances. President Hichilema emphasized that the peace mission embarked upon by the African leaders is not meant to compete with any other organization or group. Instead, it aims to encourage open dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, drawing upon Africa’s successful track record of conflict resolution through dialogue and peace-building.

The visit of the African delegation carries significant weight, as their influence and diplomatic efforts are seen as crucial in promoting dialogue and negotiation between Russia and Ukraine.
As the African leaders prepare to embark on their visit to Russia, the international community closely watches their diplomatic endeavors. The hope is that their discussions with President Putin will yield meaningful results and pave the way for a peaceful resolution to the conflict that has caused immense suffering and disrupted vital global food supplies.


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