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Swiss-Hosted Summit

Swiss-Hosted Summit on Ukraine Peace Efforts Deemed “Significant” by Irish Prime Minister

Bern, June 15, 2024, The Europe Today: The Swiss-hosted summit gathering over 90 countries for discussions on how to bring peace to Ukraine has been termed “significant” by Ireland’s Prime Minister Simon Harris, despite the absence of some African, Asian, and Latin American leaders. Speaking to DW, Harris underscored the importance of the event, held in the Swiss Alps, even as Kyiv accused Moscow of attempting to derail the summit by pressuring countries not to attend.

Ukraine has been actively seeking international support for the two-day talks. Switzerland reported that invitations were sent to more than 160 heads of state or government, with 57 leaders, including those from Kenya, Ghana, Argentina, and Colombia, agreeing to participate. However, many nations, including key players like South Africa, Brazil, and Indonesia, opted to send diplomats instead of heads of state, while India was represented by a junior minister. Notably, China, a close ally of Russia, refused to participate.

“While some countries have chosen not to be here this weekend for a variety of different reasons, I think so many have decided to come. And I’d imagine many who haven’t decided on this occasion will be watching closely to see what progress we can make over the weekend,” Prime Minister Harris remarked to German media on the sidelines of the summit.

He added, “It is definitely the largest and most senior gathering of countries across the world to talk about how we move to peace in Ukraine since the outbreak of the war. That in itself is significant.”

On the eve of the summit, Moscow unveiled its vision for peace, which included demands for Ukraine to cede large portions of its territory and abandon its aspirations to join NATO. Prime Minister Harris dismissed these demands, stating, “I don’t know what it is. And I don’t particularly care for what it is. And I don’t think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is in any position to be setting preconditions.”

Harris emphasized that any peace settlement must adhere to international law, which respects the territorial integrity of countries. “The reality is that any peace settlement, any peace process, has to be in line with international law. And all international law respects the territorial integrity of a country,” he added.

The summit aims to foster dialogue and build consensus on steps towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, with the participation and support of a diverse array of nations being seen as a critical component of its success.