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Zelensky thanks Emir of Qatar for helping return deported children from Russia

by Dominic Culverwell October 22, 2023 7:36 PM 2 min read
Doha Bay, Qatar, with the skyline of Doha in the background on Nov. 16, 2022. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for Doha’s support in helping aid the return of deported Ukrainian children, the President’s Office said on Oct. 22.

Qatar played a major mediation role in returning Ukrainian children who had been deported or forcibly transferred to Russia.

"We can only document around 20,000 abducted children. This is a terrifying figure, but the real number is even higher. That's why we need to continue this track. We are ready for further coordination and cooperation," Zelensky said.

Last week, Qatar brokered a deal with Moscow and Kyiv to return four children to Ukraine. The deal was orchestrated after months of high-level talks involving Moscow and Kyiv with plans to recover more minors in the future.

Zelensky emphasized the importance of Qatar’s participation in the Ukrainian Peace Formula, which pushes for Kyiv’s ten-point peace plan to end Russia's war.

The President thanked Sheikh Tamim for Qatar’s engagement in the Jeddah peace talks in early August and for the country’s willingness to attend the upcoming meeting in Malta.

The Gulf state also expressed interest in implementing First Lady Olena Zelenska's humanitarian projects to restore damaged hospitals.

In July, Qatar provided $100 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine to support health, education, and demining projects as well as energy security.

Zelensky and Sheikh Tamim also discussed the current crisis in the Middle East and agreed on the need to de-escalate the conflict and protect civilians.

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