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Statement following phonecall between President Higgins and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa

Date: Thu 14th Mar, 2024 | 19:35

Uachtarán na hÉireann, President Michael D. Higgins this afternoon held a phone call with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Ramaphosa wished President Higgins well following his recent hospital stay and thanked the President for the solidarity which Ireland has shown with South Africa.

The two Heads of State spoke at a very troubled time in a world torn by war.

The Presidents discussed the current situation in Gaza and noted South Africa’s current case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). President Higgins further noted the strong statement made by the Attorney General on behalf of Ireland on 22 February in the separate ICJ case regarding the Legal Consequences arising from the Policies and Practices of Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

President Ramaphosa welcomed the efforts being made by Ireland in its discussions with other countries regarding the situation in Gaza.

President Higgins noted that Africa is the continent of the young and the two Presidents discussed the need for the reform of the international multilateral institutions and that the new world to be made would demand more than the adjustment of the old.

The Presidents further discussed food security and President Ramaphosa expressed the hope that there could be potential further increased cooperation between the countries in education and in the science and technology areas.

The Presidents also placed a strong emphasis on equality in civil society, including the importance of LGBTQI+ issues.