Saudi Arabia is set to host a peace summit in early August to discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s 10-point peace formula to end Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The summit, organized by Ukraine, will be held in the city of Jeddah and aims to find a way to initiate negotiations over the war. Moscow has not been invited to the summit.
Zelensky’s chief of staff, Andrii Yermak, emphasized the significance of the Ukrainian peace formula, stating that its implementation would not only ensure peace for Ukraine, but would also establish mechanisms to address future conflicts globally.
The formula’s points include demands for the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, prisoner release, a tribunal for those responsible for the war, and future security guarantees for Ukraine.
Last September, 215 Ukrainian prisoners were released from Russian authorities under a Turkish- and Saudi-negotiated deal. Ukraine also swapped 55 Russians and pro-Moscow Ukrainians under the agreement.
Next month’s planned meeting follows a similar gathering of top officials in Copenhagen in June. Ukraine hopes the efforts from these talks will lead to a larger peace summit later this year, where global leaders can endorse shared principles for resolving the conflict.
The timing of the summit also aligns with Ukraine’s efforts to enhance its security posture. Yermak announced that Ukraine will initiate talks with the United States on a bilateral agreement regarding security guarantees.
Arab nations have generally remained neutral since Russia launched its invasion last February. However, Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the peace talks could raise the global profile of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. officials have not yet confirmed the talks.
The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have maintained a close alliance dating back to the 1940s, which has had major implications for regional stability and global energy markets.
The pair have also collaborated on security matters for decades, and the U.S. provides military support, equipment, and training to Saudi Arabia. This collaboration is driven by shared concerns over regional security, and countering common threats such as terrorism and Iran’s influence in the Middle East.
The relationship has faced scrutiny due to Riyadh’s human rights record and its restrictions on civil liberties. U.S. administrations have at times faced criticism for not taking a stronger stance on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, especially as regards the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi war with the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. Almost 100 U.S. citizens have been imprisoned in the Kingdom, mostly for political offenses.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.