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World Leaders head to Switzerland

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Over 100 world leaders, including US Vice President Kamala Harris and heads of the EU, South America, the Middle East, and Asia, will convene in Switzerland.

The two-day conference, held at the luxurious Bürgenstock resort near Lucerne, aims to discuss Ukraine’s proposed 10-point peace plan and address issues like nuclear threats, food security, and humanitarian needs in Ukraine. However, notable absences include Russia and China.

The summit coincides with the G7 leaders’ meeting in Italy, where a new deal for a €50 billion loan for Ukraine was secured. This loan is backed by the windfall profits from the interest on Russian central bank assets frozen by the EU and other Western nations following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The peace conference follows a demand from Russian President Vladimir Putin for Ukraine to cede more land, withdraw troops deeper into its territory, and drop its NATO bid. These proposals were promptly rejected by Ukraine, the US, and NATO.

A joint communiqué is expected on Sunday, emphasizing the importance of UN principles in maintaining and respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. While this may not directly advance peace, it aims to prevent any counterproductive initiatives and support Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s peace plan, which calls for a full withdrawal of Russian troops and a return to Ukraine’s 1991 borders.

Moscow has dismissed the summit as futile, while China, maintaining close ties with Russia, cited the absence of Russian participation as a reason for not attending. Despite these challenges, the attendance of dozens of leaders at the conference amid Ukraine’s current military struggles and growing war fatigue is seen as a significant achievement.

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