Presidents Ramaphosa and Ouattara 'pleased' to see Ukrainian grains deal signed

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The President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, visited South Africa on Friday.

Outtara was welcomed by his South African counterpart, President Cyril Ramaphosa in the capital, Pretoria.

The visit coincided with a UN and Turkey-brokered agreement to allow Ukraine and Russia to export grain and fertilizers. 

"It has taken much too long, in my view, because that conflict has put a stop to the import or exportat of grain, fertilizers and other foodstuffs like wheat to various other parts of the world. And we are therefore pleased. That this may indeed in the end become a reality. Would this be seen as signalling something that could amount to the end of that conflict? I would like to believe that, yes", said South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. 

Referring to Mali, the Ivorian president rejected earlier suggestions that his country was interfering in its neighbour. 

The accusations were linked to the detention of a group of Ivorian soldiers accused of being mercenaries.

" Ivory Coast cannot afford to attempt to destabilize any country and especially not a neighboring country (such as Mali). And they are the same peoples, the same population. The relationships are close, are very close. We use the same currency, we use the same legal framework, etc. It (Mali) is a friendly country and brother and sister populations. Therefore, there isn't any question about us engaging in any attempt to destabilize", reassured Alassane Ouattara, President of Ivory Coast.

During the visit to South Africa, the two presidents signed a number of agreements and Ouattara addressed the South Africa - Ivory Coast Business Forum.

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