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Switzerland to host Ukraine peace summit at Zelenskiy's request

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits Switzerland

By John Revill

BERN (Reuters) -Switzerland on Monday agreed to host a global peace summit on Ukraine at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Neutral Switzerland has previously acted as a broker to resolve conflicts and could now help find a resolution for the war that began when Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

"At the request of the Ukrainian president, Switzerland has agreed to host a summit on the peace formula," the Swiss government said. "Further details are now being worked out."

Speaking alongside his Swiss counterpart Viola Amherd at a press conference in Bern, Zelenskiy did not provide an extensive list of the participants of the planned peace summit but hinted about who he wanted to attend.

"We are open to all countries that respect our sovereignty and territorial integrity at the peace summit, so draw conclusions about who we invite," Zelenskiy said.

"We would like the Global South to be present ... it is important for us to show that the whole world is against Russia's aggression, and the whole world is for a just peace."

Neither Zelenskiy nor Amherd provided any details on when or where in Switzerland the summit might take place. They said their teams would begin organising it starting on Tuesday.

Zelenskiy was in Switzerland where he was due to meet other world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Among the dignitaries he could meet would be Chinese Premier Li Qiang, who is also in Davos this week.

Ukraine said on Sunday that it was vital that Beijing was involved in talks to end the conflict.

Zelenskiy said on Monday China, one of Russia's key allies, played "a big role" in the world, and he wanted Beijing to take part.

"We would very much like China to be involved in our (peace) formula, as well as in the summit," he said. "But not everything depends on our wishes."

Zelenskiy first announced his peace formula at a November summit of the Group of 20 major economies. His peace formula calls for restoring Ukraine’s territorial integrity, withdrawal of Russian troops and cessation of hostilities, as well as the release of all prisoners and detainees, among other things.

The Kremlin on Monday dismissed talks in Davos on Ukraine's peace proposals, saying nothing would be achieved because Russia was not part of the discussions

(Reporting by John Revill in Bern; Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber in Geneva and Yuliia Dysa in Gdansk; Editing by Alison Williams)