Saudi seeks to woo developing nations for Ukraine peace talks

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Saudi Arabia has invited main growing nations to satisfy in a bid to win their backing for Ukraine, because the US and different western powers search to weaken world help for Moscow’s full-scale invasion.

Senior officers from China, Brazil, South Africa and India — Russia’s companions within the BRICS grouping — have been invited to attend two-day talks in Jeddah subsequent weekend, alongside greater than 30 different states, in response to 4 folks with information of the assembly. Russia has not been invited.

The gathering, a successor to comparable conferences in Copenhagen final month, will attempt to persuade nations from South America, Africa and south-east Asia to again Ukraine’s peace plan, which requires an finish to the struggle by reclaiming its territory presently occupied by Russian troops.

Nationwide safety advisers or their equivalents have been invited to attend the assembly, which comes amid intense preventing in southern Ukraine. Kyiv has to this point made hard-fought however restricted good points in its summer season counteroffensive.

Different G20 members similar to Mexico, Indonesia and Argentina have been invited, in response to one of many folks, alongside nations which have supported Ukraine similar to Japan and South Korea. Greater than a dozen European nations have been invited, alongside the EU itself, within the type of Brussels representatives.

The assembly, which was first reported by the Wall Avenue Journal, is the newest step by Saudi Arabia because it seeks to place itself as a peace dealer between Russia and Ukraine.

Riyadh has helped negotiate prisoner exchanges, labored to strike a deal to return Ukrainian youngsters forcibly relocated to Russia, and provided itself as mediator.

It has stored up shut ties with Russia, with which it leads the Opec+ group of oil producers and exporters, however has additionally despatched monetary assist to Ukraine and hosted president Volodymyr Zelenskyy at an Arab League summit in Might. 

The dominion has sought to place itself as a center energy with affect past its area, whereas balancing ties with the US, Russia and China. Appearing as a mediator would exhibit the effectiveness of that strategy, one particular person acquainted with the Saudi authorities’s considering mentioned. 

Western officers are conscious that the struggle is more likely to rumble on into subsequent 12 months and are eager to win over extra growing nations to Ukraine’s facet. They imagine that lowering diplomatic help for Moscow will assist to convey Russian president Vladimir Putin to the negotiating desk.

The US, EU and different western nations have endorsed Zelenskyy’s peace plan, which calls for an entire withdrawal of Russian forces. Different proposals from China and different states are ambiguous about Russia’s retreat.

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