Saudi Arabia moderates talks to restore peace between Ukraine and Russia

Forty countries gathered in Jeddah to discuss efforts to resolve the continuing conflict

The meeting of national security advisers and country representatives concludes in ⁧‫Jeddah. SPA
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Saudi Arabia concluded the second meeting of diplomatic advisers on national security to find a negotiated settlement to the Ukraine war on Sunday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's head of staff Andriy Yermak said in a statement on Sunday that the talks involved "very productive consultations on the key principles on which a just and lasting peace should be built".

Saudi Arabia said the participants agreed on the importance of continuing international consultation and exchanging views in a way that contributes to building common ground that paves the way for peace.

The meeting is considered to be a continuation of the efforts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since March 2022.

Leaders from foreign ministries of the some of the world's most powerful countries, including the US, China and India, met in Jeddah.

The meeting was attended by national security advisers from 40 countries, much larger than a previous meeting held in Copenhagen.

Diplomatic sources told The National the discussions were "positive" and the meeting focused on achieving a fair means to achieve peace between Ukraine and Russia.

Mr Zelenskyy's peace formula was scrutinised and talks about a fair international order took place.

Moscow on Sunday said the weekend talks in Saudi Arabia were a "doomed western attempt to align the Global South" behind Kyiv.

International delegations arrived in Jeddah on Saturday to attend the summit.

About 40 countries attended the two-day summit. While Ukraine participated, Russia, which invaded its neighbour in February 2022, was excluded.

Before the meeting, the kingdom said it was looking forward to strengthening dialogue and co-operation through the exchange of views, co-ordination and discussion at the international level.

Ukraine said it hoped the talks would be a stepping stone towards a peace summit later this year, where world leaders will find solutions to help end the war.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said his country was willing to work with the international community “to continue to play a constructive role in promoting a political solution to the crisis”.

The last international meeting on Ukraine was held in June in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

Salman Al Ansari, a Saudi geopolitical researcher, told The National Saudi Arabia was emerging as a key player in regional and international peace building.

“I'm honestly optimistic about the summit, it will be a big success compared to the Copenhagen one two months ago," he said before the meeting. "And in the spirit of realism, I don't expect an immediate breakthrough, but it will most probably pave the way for a comprehensive peace plan."

On Saturday, Mr Zelenskyy said the meeting represented "different continents, different political approaches to world affairs. But all are united by the priority of international law".

Updated: August 07, 2023, 5:42 AM