Top US Adviser to Attend Saudi Talks in Bid to Attract Support for Ukraine Plan


Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, is expected to attend a meeting in Saudi Arabia this weekend at which Ukraine and its allies will try to persuade countries from the global south to back Kyiv’s proposals for ending the war.

According to officials involved in planning for the meeting, it is primarily aimed at drawing neutral countries such as Brazil and India off the fence in their approach to the Russian invasion.

The meeting has been called by Ukraine, and it is hoped the Saudi venue might attract Chinese participation, but there is so far no confirmation Beijing will send any representatives.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the planned talks, Saudi Arabia and Ukraine have invited 30 countries, including Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Chile and Zambia.

The meeting of top security officials is expected to take place in Jeddah, and if Sullivan, the US national security adviser, attends in person, it will be his second trip to the Red Sea port city in 10 days. On Thursday, he held talks with Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, and other Saudi officials on Middle East stability.

“We expect attendees will discuss the principles for peace and how we can achieve a just and durable peace in Ukraine,” a US official said.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Moscow would monitor the meeting.

“It remains to be fully understood what goals are set and what, in fact, the organizers plan to talk about,” Peskov said.

The Jeddah meeting will mark the second in a series of multilateral talks called by Ukraine in a bid to broaden global support for a 10-point peace plan proposed by Volodymyr Zelenskiy in December, aimed at restoration of Ukrainian territorial integrity and guarantees on nuclear safety, food and energy security.

“We are now working hard to involve as many partners as possible from the west and the global south in the negotiations in [Saudi Arabia],” Andriy Yermak, the head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said on social media.

“Many thanks to the hosts and co-organizers for their commitment.”

The first round of talks took place in Copenhagen in late June, and was attended by officials from Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Turkey. China was invited but did not attend.

Yermak said that Ukraine hoped that the meetings of national security advisers would ultimately lead to a summit, built around Kyiv’s version of a peace deal, which would require Russian troop withdrawal as a precondition to substantive negotiations.

Source: The Guardian