South African President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the Dutch royal couple, King Willem-Alexander and his wife Queen Máxima of the Netherlands at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday.
Their majesties were on a state visit at the invitation of the president to focus on strengthening the ties and partnership between the Netherlands and South Africa.
While reflecting on the colonial history between the two countries, Ramaphosa took the opportunity to speak on the ongoing conflict between Russia and the Ukraine, as well as the Israel-Hamas conflict that has left thousands dead and many more wounded.
“Our resolve to build a peaceful, equal future is being sorely tested and where reconciliation and healing is sorely needed,” Ramaphosa said.
His majesty King Willem-Alexander commended South Africa’s fighting spirit to end apartheid and the country’s commitment to reconciliation following the end of Dutch colonial rule in 1795.
“After colonial ties were severed, a sense of kinship remained but it wasn’t until the 1960s that a broad awareness of injustice towards the black population emerged in the Netherlands,” he said.
The royal couple will conclude their trip with a visit to Cape Town, where they will meet the city’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, and the premier, Alan Winde.