Ramaphosa says peace is the only solution to the Gaza conflict

President Cyril Ramaphosa is attending peace talks in Egypt. Picture: Said Khatib/AFP

President Cyril Ramaphosa is attending peace talks in Egypt. Picture: Said Khatib/AFP

Published Oct 20, 2023


President Cyril Ramaphosa believes peace in the Middle East can be found, as it happened in South Africa decades ago, ahead of the first democratic elections.

Ramaphosa said that is the message he will be taking to the peace talks in Egypt: that peace is possible between Israel and Palestine.

In South Africa, things seemed intractable until all sides agreed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Ramaphosa has been invited to take part in the peace talks in Cairo on Saturday by the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The war between Israel and Hamas has led to the deaths of more than 4,000 people.

But the bombing of a hospital in Gaza this week led to outrage in the international community.

The Cabinet called for the International Criminal Court to probe war crimes in the conflict.

Ramaphosa, who was speaking on the sidelines of an imbizo in the North West on Friday, confirmed that he will be taking part in the peace talks in Egypt on Saturday.

He said this showed the significant role South Africa can play in the international community and in resolving conflicts around the world.

“It speaks to South Africa’s standing with regard to how we are perceived and the fact that some people and leaders think that we can make a contribution. We do believe that we can make a contribution. Our own history and what we have gone through—when we look at what is unfolding, there is a history and an experience that can be brought to bear in terms of trying to resolve those conflicts that seem intractable.

"Our own Struggle and conflict seemed intractable. Many people around the world thought that South Africa was going to descend into a terrible civil war and that we would be slaughtering each other. We found peace. We found a way to foster peace. That is the message we will be taking to that part of the world," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa has, for the last two weeks, also indicated South Africa’s willingness to take part in peace efforts in the Middle East.

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