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Switzerland asks China to participate in peace conference on Ukraine

Switzerland asks China to participate in peace conference on Ukraine Ignazio Cassis (photo: Getty Images)

Switzerland has asked China to take part in a peace conference on Ukraine to be held this year, states Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis.

At a briefing in Beijing, Cassis said he requested a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Cassis said Wang "noted the invitation". He expects a response in a few days.

"China is having very strong relations with Russia but still is willing to do its part to terminate this war," Cassis said.

Chinese authorities missed a meeting of national security advisers in Malta in 2023 when officials from more than 55 countries discussed the Ukrainian formula for peace. In August, Beijing sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia for the meeting.

Beijing has been providing diplomatic and economic support to Russia since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last month that his government was working with Switzerland on a peace conference. At the time, he said that because China plays such a big role in the world, "we would really like for China to be involved in our formula, also to be involved in the summit, definitely."

In recent years, China has struggled to gain a reputation as a global peacemaker, and its ceasefire plan in Ukraine has not found much support in Kyiv, Washington, and other Western capitals since it was announced early last year.

Global peace summit

Ukraine has already organized several meetings on the peace formula at the level of advisors to heads of state, which were attended by dozens of countries. The main goal is to involve as many countries as possible in supporting this initiative.

In January 2024, Ukraine and Switzerland began preparations for the Global Peace Summit, which will be held at the level of heads of state.