President Hakainde Hichilema is set to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin this week as part of the African Peace Initiative aimed at addressing the situation between Russia and Ukraine. The initiative seeks to promote dialogue and peaceful negotiations between the two nations.
Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Stanley Kakubo announced that President Hichilema will embark on his diplomatic trip, starting today. He will first meet President Zelensky in Kyiv on Friday, followed by a meeting with President Putin in Saint Petersburg on Saturday. President Hichilema will be accompanied by six other African Heads of State and Government, representing Comoros, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda.
Minister Kakubo highlighted that the African Peace Initiative draws upon Africa’s successful track record of resolving conflicts through dialogue and peace-building. The African leaders participating in the initiative aim to encourage open dialogue and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, leveraging their collective experience in conflict resolution.
Zambia remains deeply committed to global peace as a catalyst for socio-economic development in Africa and beyond, emphasized Minister Kakubo. Joining the initiative aligns with Zambia’s dedication to fostering an environment conducive to economic and social prosperity. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has had adverse consequences, including disruptions to Africa’s commodity supply chains, making it imperative for Zambia to actively contribute to finding a peaceful resolution.
Following the diplomatic mission, President Hichilema is expected to return to Lusaka promptly. The meetings with President Zelensky and President Putin hold significant importance in fostering dialogue, promoting peace, and seeking common ground between Russia and Ukraine.
The African Peace Initiative serves as a platform for African leaders to extend their support and engage in constructive dialogue. By leveraging their experience in conflict resolution, the participating African nations aim to facilitate peaceful negotiations and foster stability in the region. The initiative also underscores Africa’s commitment to global peace and highlights the continent’s proactive role in addressing global challenges.