President Biden to Host South African President Ramaphosa at the White House
In a statement released by the White House, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced that “President Biden will welcome South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the White House on Friday, September 16. The leaders, building on their productive call in April and the U.S.-South Africa Strategic Dialogue in August, will discuss opportunities to deepen our cooperation on trade and investment, infrastructure, climate and energy, and health. The two Presidents will reaffirm the importance of our enduring partnership and discuss our work together to address regional and global challenges. “
This announcement comes at a time when the administration seeks to bring African nations closer to the United States as South Africa and many of its neighbors have declared neutrality in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During a visit to South Africa on August 7th, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the Biden administration views Africa’s 54 nations as “equal partners” in addressing global issues.
During Blinken’s visit, South Africa’s foreign minister of international relations and cooperation, Naledi Pandor, maintained the country’s neutrality in the Ukraine conflict, saying, “It is important that all of us accept our ability to hold different opinions. We are on a roll of sovereign nations that are regarded as equal in terms of the United Nations Charter… We might differ in terms of economic power and economic ability to influence development in different parts of the world, but what will make the world work is if we respect each other.”
Blinken said, “The United States is there for African countries in this unprecedented crisis because that’s what partners do, neither the United States nor anyone else should dictate Africa’s choices. The right to make these decisions belongs solely to Africans.”