President Volodymyr Zelensky held a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Oct. 23 and invited a representative of Saudi Arabia to the upcoming peace formula talks in Malta, Zelensky announced on social media.
The president said he also thanked the crown prince for "his personal efforts to make the Peace Formula meeting in Jeddah a success." Saudi Arabia hosted a previous peace plan meeting in August, gathering representatives from some 40 countries with the exclusion of Russia.
The next peace formula meeting is scheduled to take place on the island country of Malta between Oct. 28-29, according to the Maltese Foreign Ministry. It will be the third international gathering in preparation for the planned Global Peace Summit later this year.
The two leaders discussed the future development of Ukraine's relations with Riyadh and other Gulf Countries, as well as the escalating conflict in the Middle East, likely in reference to the ongoing Israel-Hamas War.
The president's relationship with Saudi Arabia dates back further than the Jeddah peace formula summit. In May 2023, Zelensky traveled to Saudi Arabia for the first time, meeting the crown prince and appealing to Arab leaders to 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.