Relatives and friends of the defenders of the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works attend a ceremony to remember the victims of the Olenivka camp explosion one year on, as they gathered near the Russian embassy building in Kyiv, Ukraine, 29 July 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Ukraine confirms ‘peace talks’ to begin in Saudi Arabia next month

Kyiv, July 31 (EFE).- Saudi Arabia will host peace talks under the terms of Kyiv in August amid an ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, a senior Ukrainian official has said.

According to the official Ukrinform news portal, national security advisors and political advisors to state leaders will meet in the kingdom to discuss the implementation of “Ukraine’s initiatives to restore lasting and just peace.”

“The Ukrainian Peace Formula contains contains 10 fundamental points, the implementation of which will not only ensure peace for Ukraine, but also create mechanisms to counter future conflicts in the world,” presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak said at an event on Sunday.

“We are deeply convinced that the Ukrainian peace plan should be taken as a basis, because the war is taking place on our land,” Yermak said.

He said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace formula was being discussed individually and in groups with representatives of more than 50 countries on an almost weekly basis.

“We are deeply convinced that the Ukrainian peace plan should be taken as a basis because the war is taking place on our land,” he insisted.

“At the same time, in the process of consultations with all stakeholders, we seek to take into account opinions and positions that do not contradict the key principles of international law and the provisions of the UN Charter.”

The peace plan contemplates the withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied Ukrainian territory.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported about the Saudi Arabia hosting the talks between global diplomats, said the meeting will take place without Russia.

The meeting is scheduled for Aug 5 and 6 and, according to newspaper sources, it will bring together senior officials from up to 30 countries in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

Western diplomats quoted by the newspaper hope that the talks could culminate in a peace summit this year, in which international leaders would endorse common principles to resolve the war in Ukraine.

This could serve as a basis for negotiations between Kyiv and Moscow.

According to the WSJ, the Jeddah meeting would be a follow-up to an earlier one held in June in Copenhagen between representatives of Ukraine, the United States, European countries, Brazil, India, Turkey, and South Africa.

The choice of the Arab country for this meeting would allow, according to Western diplomats, the possible participation of China, which maintains good relations with Moscow. EFE