July 18, 2024

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80 countries at Swiss conference agree territorial integrity of Ukraine must be basis of any peace

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Eighty countries jointly called Sunday for the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement to end Russia’s two-year war, though some key developing nations at a Swiss conference did not join in.

The joint communique capped a two-day conference at the Bürgenstock resort in Switzerland marked by the absence of Russia, which was not invited, but that many attendees hoped could join in on a roadmap to peace.

About 100 delegations, mostly Western countries but also some key developing nations, were on hand for the conference — and experts were on watch to see how and if at all they might line up behind the outcome document.

Participants India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates — which were represented by foreign ministers or lower-level envoys — were among those that did not sign onto the final document, which focused on issues of nuclear safety, food security and the exchange of prisoners.

Brazil, an “observer” country, did not sign on but Turkey — which has sought to an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine — did.

The final document said the U.N. Charter and “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty … can and will serve as a basis for achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”

Viola Amherd, the Swiss president who hosted the event, told the final news conference that the fact that the “great majority” of participants agreed to the final document “shows what diplomacy can achieve.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the “first steps toward peace” at the meeting, and said the joint communique remains “open for accession by everyone who respects the U.N. Charter.”

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Union’s executive Commission, said the conference was “rightly” entitled “Path to Peace” because peace won’t be achieved in a single step.

“It was not a peace negotiation because Putin is not serious about ending the war. He is insisting on capitulation. He…

2024-06-16 10:21:00

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