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Biden Hosts Ramaphosa Sept. 16


FILE: U.S. President Joe Biden talks with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa as they arrive for a working session during G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, Britain. 6.12.2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa will hold talks at the White House on Sept. 16 to discuss trade, investment, climate and energy, the White House said on Thursday.

"The two Presidents will reaffirm the importance of our enduring partnership, and discuss our work together to address regional and global challenges," press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Announcement of the Sept. 16 visit comes on the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to South Africa last month, in which he said the Biden administration sees Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in tackling global problems.

But the administration has been disappointed that South Africa and much of the continent have declined to follow the U.S. in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

South Africa abstained in a United Nations vote to condemn Russia’s action, and Ramaphosa has avoided any criticism of Russia and instead has called for a mediated peace.

Biden and Ramaphosa, who spoke by phone in April, are expected to focus their talks on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, public health and South Africa’s leading role on the continent, officials said.

“The two Presidents will reaffirm the importance of our enduring partnership, and discuss our work together to address regional and global challenges,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement announcing this month’s meeting.

Biden also plans to host a U.S.-Africa leaders summit in December.

During the Blinken visit, Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor maintained South Africa’s neutrality on the Ukraine war. In a press briefing following the meeting, Pandor accused the U.S. and other Western powers of focusing on the Ukraine conflict to the detriment of other international issues.

This report was prepared with information from Associated Press and Reuters

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