During his first visit to Saudi Arabia to attend the 32nd Arab League summit, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for greater support from Arab nations to help end the war between his country and Russia. Zelensky declared his readiness to take cooperation with Saudi Arabia to a “new level” by urging them to assist in the release of Ukrainian prisoners held by Russia. Speaking at the summit in a military-inspired outfit, he affirmed Ukraine’s commitment to defend its people and end the war imposed on the country by Russia. He also met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has previously offered to mediate in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Before his visit, Zelensky took to Twitter and wrote, “Beginning my first-ever visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enhance bilateral relations and Ukraine’s ties with the Arab world. Political prisoners in Crimea and temporarily occupied territories, the return of our people, Peace Formula, and energy cooperation. KSA plays a significant role and we are ready to take our cooperation to a new level.”
The Ukrainian president’s visit to Saudi Arabia was seen as an important step in strengthening Ukraine’s relations with Arab countries. According to Ukraine’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Anatolii Petrenko, the visit represents a consolidation of efforts between the Global South and Ukraine to tackle critical global and regional issues.