Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, is set to attend a meeting in Saudi Arabia this weekend along with Ukraine and its allies. The aim of the meeting is to persuade countries from the global south, such as Brazil and India, to back Kyiv’s proposals for ending the war.
The meeting, called by Ukraine, hopes to draw neutral countries off the fence in their approach to the Russian invasion. While the Saudi venue may attract Chinese participation, there is no confirmation yet if Beijing will send representatives.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Saudi Arabia and Ukraine have invited 30 countries to the meeting, including Indonesia, Egypt, Mexico, Chile, and Zambia. The gathering of top security officials is expected to take place in Jeddah, and if Sullivan attends in person, it will be his second trip to the Red Sea port city in 10 days. Previously, he held talks with Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi officials on Middle East stability.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the principles for peace and how to achieve a just and durable peace in Ukraine. Ukraine hopes to broaden global support for a 10-point peace plan proposed by Volodymyr Zelenskiy in December. The plan is aimed at restoring Ukrainian territorial integrity, as well as ensuring guarantees on nuclear safety, food, and energy security.
This meeting in Jeddah will be the second in a series of multilateral talks initiated by Ukraine. The first round took place in Copenhagen in late June, with officials from Brazil, India, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey in attendance. China was invited but did not attend.
Ukraine’s goal is for the meetings of national security advisers to lead to a summit centered around its version of a peace deal. This deal would require the withdrawal of Russian troops as a precondition to substantive negotiations.