Ramaphosa lobbies Brics allies to take steps to end Middle East conflict

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged Brics leaders to use the voice of the global south to agree on “urgent and concrete actions to end the suffering in Gaza” and establish a path towards a just and peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Middle East. 

“The actions by Israel are in clear violation of international law, including the UN Charter and the Geneva Convention read together with its protocols. Let this meeting stand as a clarion call for us to combine our efforts and strengthen our actions to end this historical injustice,” he said.  

Ramaphosa, who is Brics chair, was delivering opening remarks during an emergency virtual Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa extraordinary joint meeting on the humanitarian catastrophe taking place in Gaza on Tuesday. 

The Brics bloc leaders were joined by leaders from new member states including Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. UN secretary-general António Guterres was also in attendance.  

The meeting takes place as MPs vote in an EFF-sponsored motion in parliament to have the Israeli embassy in Pretoria closed and for the government to sever all ties with Tel Aviv. The motion was debated in the National Assembly last week. 

The vote comes after Israel announced on Monday night that Israeli’s ambassador to South Africa Eliav Belotserkovsky had been recalled for consultations, further deepening the strained relations between Tel Aviv and Pretoria.