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Zelensky holds phone call with Saudi Crown Prince on Ukraine peace efforts

by Abbey Fenbert and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 9, 2023 7:40 AM 2 min read
President Volodymyr Zelensky on a call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, Sept. 8, 2023. (Photo via President's Office)
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President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed Ukraine's path to peace in a telephone conversation with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud, on Sept. 8.

According to a statement from the President's Office, the leaders discussed ongoing cooperation between Ukraine and Saudi Arabia, in an extension of a dialogue begun in August at the Jeddah peace talks.

The two-day summit, held Aug. 5-6, brought together leaders from around 40 countries to discuss Ukraine's peace formula, a 10-point plan for an end to Russia's war.

Russia was not invited to the Jeddah summit.

During the call, Zelensky "expressed gratitude" to Salman for his ongoing support and the successful meeting in Jeddah.

The president's relationship with Saudi Arabia dates back farther than the Jeddah peace talks. In May 2023, Zelensky traveled to Saudi Arabia for the first time, meeting Salman and appealing to Arab leaders so support Ukraine's peace plan.

Saudi Arabia also played an important role in negotiating prisoner exchanges with Russia, allowing Ukraine to achieve a major exchange involving nearly 300 people – including the Azovstal defenders – in September 2022.

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