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Ukraine’s Zelensky visits Saudi Arabia ahead of Swiss peace talks

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Wednesday landed in Saudi Arabia, days before a planned peace summit for Ukraine in Switzerland.

Zelensky arrived in the Saudi port city of Jeddah and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the monarchy’s de facto ruler, according to the Saudi state news agency SPA.

They discussed ties between the two countries and developments in the Ukraine-Russia crisis, the agency added without giving details.

Mohammed stressed at the meeting the kingdom’s backing for all efforts to solve the crisis and mitigate its humanitarian effects, it added.

Saudi Arabia does not want want to take part in the June 15-16 conference as Russia will not attend, sources in Riyadh said earlier this month on condition of anonymity.

There has since been no official confirmation in Riyadh.

Switzerland has invited around 160 countries to the upcoming event to discuss possible ways to achieve a lasting peace in Ukraine.

Russia, which invaded Ukraine more than two years ago, has not received an invitation. The Kremlin has dismissed the talks as meaningless.

Saudi Arabia has tried to maintain a neutral stance in the Ukraine war.

The oil-rich kingdom, a traditional ally of the United States, also maintains good ties with Moscow, and has repeatedly offered to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.

Last August, Saudi Arabia hosted international security talks on Ukraine.

In May last year, Zelensky attended an annual Arab League summit also held in Saudi Arabia.

Source: Yahoo