Zelenskyy urges Arab world not ‘to turn blind eye’ to Russia’s war

(Update 1: Changes headline, reledes, adds detail throughout)

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, May 19 (EFE).- Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday urged the leaders of Arab nations not to “turn a blind eye” to Russia’s invasion of his country.

Zelenskyy was addressing the Arab League summit in Jeddah, his first ever visit to Saudi Arabia, to garner more support for Kyiv’s defense against Moscow’s invading troops from a region that has not been as emphatic in its backing of Ukraine as its Western allies.

“Even if there are people here at the summit who have a different view of the war on our land, calling it a ‘conflict’, I’m sure we can all be united in saving people from the cages of Russian prisons,” Zelenskyy said, referring to the Kremlin’s annexations of eastern Ukrainian regions and detentions or resettlements of local people.

“Unfortunately there are some in the world, and here among you, who turn a blind eye to those cages and illegal annexations, and I am here so that everyone can take an honest look, no matter how hard the Russians try to influence, there must still be independence,” he said.

The Ukrainian president also thanked host Saudi Arabia for their work in securing the release of prisoners from Russia, saying he hoped they could “expand on this experience” to help bring peace.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country was willing to act as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine to “solve the crisis politically,” during his opening speech to the summit.

The Ukrainian president is also due to meet with “presidents and monarchs” of Arab League member states on the sidelines of the summit. EFE


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