Prof. ST Hsieh
Director, US-China Energy Industry Forum
August 6, 2023
The conclusion of the peace meeting at Jeddah makes sure that it a meaningful event. It is a start but far from stopping the 18-month-old proxy war between Russia and Ukraine. Military actions have no sign of ending. “Principles” using general language such as “respect for the territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of Ukraine, can be easily accepted by the meeting representatives which does not include Russia.
Even though the news report used the term “negotiations,” but in fact the Jeddah meeting was just a meeting to “discuss.” Eventually, any “peace agreement” will have to negotiated and signed off by the two warring parties: Russia and Ukraine. Further, none of the invited participants at the Jeddah meeting has any credential to represent his or her home country to sign off any “agreement!”
There are about 40 countries’ representatives at the Jeddah meeting, but not every country has the ears of Russia. Chinese representative’s summary of the meeting is close to reality: “We have many disagreements and we have heard different positions, but it is important that our principles are shared.”
In order to facilitate a cease fire, Ukraine has to engage Russia directly.
Principles of peace agreement agreed at summit in Saudi Arabia, media report
Sun, August 6, 2023 at 6:47 AM PDT
After the first day of negotiations, the participants of the summit in Saudi Arabia reached agreement on the principles for a peace deal on Ukraine, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera has reported, with reference to sources in the European Union.
As the publication writes, understanding has emerged in Jeddah that at the center of any peace agreement should be respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, as well as the supremacy of the UN Charter.
In addition, the diplomats agreed to form working groups on the key topics of the 10 points of the peace formula of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Also, negotiations are underway between the participants of the meeting regarding the timing of a meeting of heads of state. According to the sources of the newspaper, it may take place before the end of this year.
Russia is not attending the summit in Saudi Arabia
Peace summit in Saudi Arabia: What is known
Two days of negotiations on the Ukrainian peace formula began in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 5.
The summit is being attended by high-ranking officials and diplomats from about 40 countries, including representatives from India and China. Russia, however, was not invited to attend.
Deputy Head of the Office of the Ukrainian President Ihor Zhovkva said ahead of the summit that the task of the negotiations in Jeddah is to distribute the points of the Ukrainian peace formula among the participating countries.
Kyiv has proposed that its foreign partners each take the lead in implementing one of the points of the plan.
Jeddah talks wind down as long-term efforts needed for peace in Ukraine conflict
By Xu Yelu Published: Aug 06, 2023 09:20 PM
As the talks hosted by Saudi Arabia over the Ukraine issue wound down, Chinese experts said on Sunday that a political solution is the most appropriate and least damaging approach to solve the Ukraine conflict.
Senior officials from some 40 countries including the US, China and India held talks in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Friday welcomed the wide range of countries represented in the talks, including developing countries hit hard by the surge in food prices triggered by the war.
Russia did not attend the talks. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by the state news agency TASS as saying on Sunday the meeting is “a reflection of the West’s attempt to continue futile, doomed efforts to mobilise the international community, and more precisely, the Global South, even if not entirely, in support of the so-called Zelensky formula, which is doomed and untenable from the outset.”
A European Union official said there would be no joint statement after the meeting, but that the Saudis would present a plan for further talks, with working groups to discuss issues such as global food security, nuclear safety and prisoner releases.
Chinese Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui attended the talks. “We have many disagreements and we have heard different positions, but it is important that our principles are shared,” he said, according to Reuters.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is not just a dispute between the two countries, but also a security conflict between Russia and US-led NATO. Therefore, China has always advocated for negotiations and a prompt end to the conflict, a cease-fire, and a resolution to the Russia-Ukraine dispute, to alleviate the pressures on both countries’ societies, as well as Europe and the world, Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.
Experts believe that understanding the interests and security concerns of all parties can lead to solutions in a complex environment.
Both China and Saudi Arabia hope to promote peace talks. However, experts pointed out that the time is not yet ripe for direct peace negotiations, as the gap in the bottom line demands of the parties involved is too large.
Summit in Saudi Arabia Agrees on Basis of Peace Deal
SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST 2023
The participants of the summit in Saudi Arabia have reached common ground on respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, citing their sources in the European Union, said that in Jeddah, there was common ground “that respect for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty must be at the heart of any peace agreement, as well as the authority of the UN Charter”.
The same sources said a decision had been made to form working groups on key topics of the 10 points of the peace formula proposed by Kyiv.
“The timeframe for the meeting of the heads of states has not yet been determined, but it’s considered quite possible by the end of the year,” they explain.
Most of 40 Countries Decide How They Will Work for Peace after Meeting in Saudi Arabia
SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST 2023
Andrii Yermak, the head of the Office of the President, spoke about the results of the meeting in Saudi Arabia regarding the implementation of the Ukrainian Peace Formula and noted that most of the participating states have decided how they will make their contribution.
Yermak clarified in his statement the list of about 40 participating countries, which was not fully revealed until now:
from Europe: Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, France, Czechia, Sweden, and the EU as a union;
from the Middle East and Asia: Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahrain, India, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, the Union of Comoros Islands, China, Korea, Turkey, Japan;
from Africa: Egypt, South Africa;
from North America: Canada and the USA;
from South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the UN as an organisation.
Previously, the media also mentioned Mexico as one of the participants, but it is not on the published list.
Countries were represented at the level of national security advisers and political directors of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, either in person or online.
” There were different views, but all the participants demonstrated their countries’ commitment to the principles of the UN Charter, international law, and respect for the sovereignty and inviolability of the territorial integrity of states. And it is on these principles that President Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula is built…
The meeting in Jeddah was a step towards the practical implementation of peace initiatives proposed by Ukraine. Each state participating in the consultations has the opportunity to show leadership in global efforts for peace. And most of them have already defined their role in the implementation of certain points of the Formula,” Yermak said.
He added that the parties agreed to continue work at various representative levels.
As part of the consultations in Jeddah, the Ukrainian delegation also held a number of bilateral meetings, which will continue on Sunday: they will discuss the details of the implementation of peace initiatives.