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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Saudi Foreign Minister visited Ukraine for the first time and met with Zelenskyy

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kiev. The Ukrainian leader announced it on February 26 on his Telegram channel.

Zelenskyy stressed that this is the first official visit of the Kingdom’s Foreign Minister to Ukraine in the entire history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“I hope this will give new impetus to further intensify our mutually beneficial dialogue. Thank you for supporting peace in Ukraine, our sovereignty and our territorial integrity,” the Head of State wrote.

How transmits Saudi TV channel Al-Ekhbariya, during the meeting, Al Saud and Zelenskyy discussed options for resolving the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict. In particular, the Minister underlined that Saudi Arabia is in favor of resolving the crisis between Moscow and Kiev by peaceful means.

Al Saud assured that the kingdom was interested in supporting any initiative that would help reduce tensions, as well as achieve peace, Strana reports.

“Saudi Arabia would like to do everything possible to reduce the intensity of hostilities. As you know, any war ends with dialogue at the negotiating table. But, of course, all this must be done in accordance with the international law,” added the head of the foreign affairs agency.

Al Saud also said that in Riyadh “they got acquainted with President Zelenskyy’s peace initiatives” and expressed hope that they “will become the basis” for resolving the conflict.

“We will continue to cooperate with our Ukrainian friends to end the war, because it affects not only Ukraine, but the whole world,” the minister stressed.

Additionally, Al Saud announced that Saudi Arabia would provide $410 million in aid to Kiev “to mitigate the economic impact of the humanitarian crisis.” SPA press agency clarifiesthat this amount will be divided into two packages:

$100 million under a joint program of cooperation to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine; 300 million dollars in the form of a subsidy to finance oil derivatives.

On the allocation of financial assistance to Ukraine in the amount of 400 million dollars, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman al Saud declared back in October 2022.

Following Al Saud’s visit, the chief of staff of the Ukrainian president, Andrii Yermak, declared in his telegraph channel that a “reconciliation of positions” had begun between Riyadh and Kiev. “I would like to remind you that Ukraine and Saudi Arabia have common challenges and experience in dealing with them. We are talking about Iranian drones which were supplied to some ‘rebels’ and carried out attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia,” he wrote.

In September 2022 Mohammed bin Salman declared on the desire to become a mediator in the negotiations for the settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Then he served as an intermediary in the exchange of prisoners between Moscow and Kiev. At the end of February, Saudi Arabia supported the UN General Assembly resolution calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.

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