Ukrainian President visits Qatar, seeks aid in returning abducted Ukrainian children

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived in Qatar on June 5 to hold talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and discuss the country’s mediation in the return of Ukrainian children abducted by Russia, according to his Telegram post.

"We will discuss the continuation of these efforts both within the framework of the international coalition for the return of Ukrainian children and at the peace summit, where this is on the agenda," Zelenskyy wrote.

Qatar played an active role in preparing for the Global Peace Summit and is poised to be “a crucial voice in the Middle East in advocating for the return of people, ensuring global food security, and addressing nuclear and energy security.”

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The leaders will also discuss various bilateral economic and security issues during their meeting.

Prior to this, on June 3, Zelenskyy met with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Manila.

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“Ukraine plans to open an embassy in Manila this year to strengthen bilateral cooperation," he announced. "I am grateful to the Philippines for supporting Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, for their clear stance against Russia's aggression towards our country, and for backing important UN resolutions.”

The Philippines' participation in the upcoming Global Peace Summit in Switzerland was among the topics discussed.

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On June 3, Serhiy Nikiforov, Zelenskyy’s press secretary, said that 107 states and several international organizations have confirmed their participation in the Global Peace Summit in Switzerland this June.

The Global Peace Summit in Switzerland will take place from June 15-16, with leaders from around the world expected to attend, though Russia will not be present.

Ukraine hasn't ruled out Russian participation in the future, but did not extend an invitation to the inaugural event, Presidential Office head Andriy Yermak said.

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The peace process is "unthinkable" without Russia, the Swiss Foreign Ministry stated.

Ukrainian intelligence has reliable information that Russia wants to disrupt the peace summit, Zelenskyy said on April 24.

China is also trying to prevent other countries from participating in the Global Peace Summit, he added.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and other international leaders are expected to attend the summit.

The White House will attend the Global Peace Summit, though U.S. President Joe Biden's participation has yet to be confirmed.

Zelenskyy personally would like to see Biden at the peace summit, he said. His absence will only encourage Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Reuters reported on May 31 that China had refused to participate in the peace summit in Switzerland.

President Zelenskyy said on June 2 that the United States has confirmed its participation in the High-Level Peace Summit, but it is not yet known whether Joe Biden will attend.

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