Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday to attend the Arab League summit, seeking support for his country's peace proposal amid Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The visit comes as the Biden administration urges its Middle Eastern partners to back Ukraine and mitigate the economic repercussions of a conflict that has severely disrupted global supply chains.
During his brief address to the Arab League, Zelenskiy is expected to seek support for Kyiv’s peace proposal, which entails Russia returning all Ukrainian territory it has seized since 2014. He will also meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who maintains close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In addition to attending the Arab League summit, Zelensky will participate in a G7 meeting in Japan over the weekend. The Ukrainian president aims to garner international backing for his nation as Kyiv prepares to launch a long-awaited counteroffensive against Russian forces. A joint statement from G7 leaders emphasized their commitment towards supporting Kyiv “for as long as it takes.”
While wealthy Gulf countries have provided aid to Kyiv, they have also adopted more cautious approaches due to their connections with Putin. Saudi Arabia has attempted to position itself as a mediator between both sides of this war-torn region.
As part of his diplomatic efforts across multiple fronts, Zelenksiy recently made an unanticipated visit to London while exploring various avenues—including an unsuccessful appeal during Eurovision Song Contest—to secure additional funds for prosecuting the war against Russia.
The upcoming Ukraine Recovery Conference scheduled next month in London reflects these ongoing efforts by President Zelenskiy and allied nations in addressing both short-term military needs and longer-term recovery plans amidst escalating tensions with Moscow.
"We are grateful for any assistance from our allies," said Olena Kondratova, spokesperson for the Ukrainian government. "President Zelenskiy's presence at these summits demonstrates our determination to find a peaceful resolution and secure vital support on an international level."