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Belgium calls on South Africa to help end war in Ukraine

Belgium calls on South Africa to help end war in Ukraine
King Philippe of Belgium (R) introduces South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (3rd R) to his cabinet during a state visit, March 23, 2023   -  
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South Africa

Belgium called on South Africa on Thursday to use its influence with Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine

The appeal was made during a state visit by the Belgian king to Pretoria.

King Philippe is travelling with Queen Mathilde and Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib during a five-day state visit to the country.

President Cyril Ramaphosa responded to the call by saying that Pretoria continues "to use the channel we have with Russia...to talk about how the conflict can be brought to an end".

South Africa has refused to condemn the invasion of Ukraine which has largely isolated Moscow on the international stage, saying it wants to stay neutral and prefers dialogue to end the war.

In August, South Africa is due to host a summit of the BRICS - a bloc which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, and to which President Vladimir Putin has been invited.

Last month Pretoria held a controversial joint military exercise with Russia and China.

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