Abuja [Nigeria] December 1 (ANI/Xinhua): Visiting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday faulted the travel ban imposed on his country and sister African nations by some Western countries in the aftermath of the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 by South African scientists.
Ramaphosa, while attending a joint press conference in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who invited him on a state visit, also hailed the leaders of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, as well as Buhari, for expressing their dissatisfaction with the travel ban.
"This is a global pandemic and overcoming it requires that we collaborate and work together as a collective," the South African leader told reporters at the State House in the Nigerian capital.
He described the imposition of the ban by the Western countries as "arbitrary, discriminatory, unscientific and unproductive in the long run."
Ramaphosa said the resulting damage to this travel ban to the economies of the countries affected will be "considerable and long-lasting."
"So, I want to use this opportunity to tell the countries that have imposed this ban to reverse their decisions whether they are the northern more developed economies or in other parts of our continent or elsewhere," he added.
During the one-day visit, Nigeria and South Africa signed new Memoranda of Understanding in diverse areas, while reviewing the existing ones for the progress and prosperity of citizens of both countries.
Buhari described the state visit of Ramaphosa as "successful," despite the scare generated by the new Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country. (ANI/Xinhua)