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Ramaphosa looks to advance peace in Africa as he takes up AU chairmanship

The president took a swipe at Russia and Turkey, without naming them, for having ulterior motives in getting involved in Libya.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the occasion of the presentation of credentials by Heads of Mission accredited to SA in Pretoria on 28 January 2020. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

PRETORIA - South Africa’s diplomats from the length and breadth of Africa on Monday gathered in Pretoria to strategise on how best the country could use the chair of the African Union (AU). The position will be assumed by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa said this was happening at a challenging time for the country, the continent and world. He took a swipe at Russia and Turkey, without naming them, for having ulterior motives in getting involved in Libya.

“As we meet here today, we must acknowledge that new tendencies are emerging and some old ones are resurfacing which threaten to undermine a cooperative and mutually beneficial approach to global governance.

“As we work together over the coming years, ours must be a common desire to deepen democracy within the multilateral institutions of global governance and to strive for their effectiveness,” Ramaphosa said.

“We must assert a shared belief in the equality of all people and all sovereign states regardless of their economic power or military might,” he added.

South Africa would look carefully at this as chair of the AU and a revolving member of the United Nations Security Council, Ramaphosa said.

He said advancing peace and security was a priority for the South African chairmanship of the AU as the continental body sought to silence the guns in 2020.