Espreso. Global

Jeddah summit helped to ‘consolidate international consensus’, China says

7 August, 2023 Monday

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says that international talks in Saudi Arabia to find a peaceful solution to the "crisis in Ukraine" helped "strengthen the international consensus

Reuters reported the information.

The agency noted that the talks in Jeddah, which took place on August 5-6, were attended by over 40 countries, including China, India, the US and European countries, but without Russia.

China sent its special envoy for Eurasia and former ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, who visited six European capitals in May to find common ground for a possible political settlement of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Li communicated with all parties on a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, listened to the views and suggestions of all parties, and contributed to further strengthening the international consensus.

"All parties positively commented on Li Hui's attendance, and fully backed China's positive role in facilitating peace talks," the statement said.

The ministry added that China will continue to strengthen the dialogue based on its 12-point peace proposal and "accumulate mutual trust."

According to analysts, China's presence indicates a possible change in Beijing's approach, but not a sharp turn in its support for Moscow, as Beijing refused to condemn Moscow for the invasion it launched in February 2022. Instead, it proposed its own "peace plan," which received a lukewarm response in both Russia and Ukraine, while the US and NATO were skeptical.

The EU has received signals from China that it is ready to participate in the negotiations

Earlier, the Financial Times reported that China has signaled its willingness to participate in further international negotiations to resolve the war in Ukraine, according to European officials who welcomed its "constructive" participation in a forum in Saudi Arabia, which was not attended by Moscow.

They noted that the Jeddah talks, which were attended by dozens of countries and focused on a 10-point peace plan proposed by Kyiv, ended Sunday without concrete results. But the presence of Beijing, which weeks earlier had refused to participate in similar talks in Copenhagen, was seen as a victory for Kyiv and was a major event among the participants.

The outlet recalls that China announced an "no limits" partnership with Russia before Moscow's full-scale invasion of its neighbor in February 2022, which Beijing did not condemn, and its peace plan, unveiled earlier this year, coincided with the Kremlin's theses.

One European diplomat said that China "appeared constructive" and "keen to show that [it] is not Russia."

"The mere presence of China shows Russia is more and more isolated," he said, adding that China has made it clear that it will participate in the next such meeting.

Another European official said that China "participated actively and was positive about the idea of a third meeting at this level."

President Xi Jinping visited Russian leader Putin in March in one of his first official visits since the lifting of China's three-year anti-covid regime. However, Beijing remains cautious about the trajectory of relations between the two countries. In particular, the outlet adds that last month the FT reported that Xi warned Putin against using nuclear weapons.

The forum, which was held at the level of national security advisers, was attended by dozens of developing and developed countries, including: Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and the US, as well as the EU.

Western nations and Ukraine hoped that the meeting would help isolate Russia and gain support for Ukraine among developing countries that had not yet declared their position on the invasion. Some see the war as "a conflict between US-led NATO and Moscow."

Meeting of national security advisors in Jeddah

Last weekend, on August 5-6, over 40 countries met in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to discuss ways to end the war in Ukraine. The meeting was held at the level of national security advisors. As previously reported in the press, Saudi Arabia was chosen as the venue for the meeting in order to try to force the world's leading countries, which have so far remained neutral, to support the Ukrainian principles of ending the war. 

This is the second meeting at the level of national security advisors and political directors on the key principles of peace based on President Zelenskyy's Peace Formula. As Ihor Zhovkva, Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Office of the President, reported on the eve of the discussions in Jeddah, the number of participants increased from 15 to almost 40 after the success of consultations in a similar format in Copenhagen on June 24. Additional countries from the Global South were also involved. 

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