Ukraine says Saudi talks were 'breakthrough' on global consensus on Zelensky peace plan

Ukraine says Saudi talks were 'breakthrough' on global consensus on Zelensky peace plan
Ukraine's foreign minister sees the talks as providing a global consensus for President Volodymyr Zelensky's peace plan.
2 min read
11 August, 2023
Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba hailed the talks as a 'breakthrough'

Saudi-hosted talks last weekend were a "breakthrough" for Kyiv that showed it is possible to rally global support around the 10-point plan proposed by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to end Russia's war, Ukraine's foreign minister said on Thursday.

"If a country wants to be in the front seat of world politics, it has to become part of these coordination meetings,"

Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Reuters, referring to the talks in Jeddah and a smaller event earlier this summer in Copenhagen.

Officials from more than 40 countries - including China, India, Brazil, the United States, and European countries, but not Russia - took part in the talks, which were seen as an attempt by Kyiv to build a broader coalition of powers to support its vision of peace.

Ukraine has had strong support from the West as it has fended off Russia's invasion, but it has been harder to win over major Global South economies.

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Zelenskiy's plan, which Kyiv wants to serve as the basis for peace to end the war launched in February 2022, includes the withdrawal of all Russian troops and the return of all Ukrainian territory to its control.

Kuleba said the number of countries interested in participating in meetings such as the Jeddah gathering has "increased dramatically" in recent weeks, adding the events lay a crucial foundation for future talks on Ukraine's vision for peace.

"We are fully satisfied with the dynamics of this process," he said."I believe the meeting in Jeddah was a breakthrough because for the first time, we brought together countries representing (the) entire world, not only Europe and North America."

Russia has said it is open to peace talks with Kyiv but insists on its claim to four Ukrainian provinces it said it annexed last year and fully or partly controls, as well as Crimea that it annexed in 2014 - a condition Kyiv will not accept.