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Pakistan likely to skip Ukraine ‘peace summit’ – media

Islamabad reportedly wants to maintain its neutrality in the conflict

Pakistan will likely not attend a Ukraine peace conference hosted by Switzerland in mid-June, as it seeks to maintain its “neutrality” in the conflict between Moscow and Kiev, according to national media.

The summit is scheduled for June 15-16 at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne. More than 160 countries have been invited, including members of the G7, G20, BRICS, and the EU. Russia, however, has not been asked to attend.

According to an unnamed diplomatic source cited by Pakistan Today on Monday, Russia’s absence from the gathering, along with diplomatic pressure applied by the West, have put Islamabad in a delicate position, leaving its attendance uncertain.

The report indicated that it’s the first time Pakistan has been invited to an international conference of that kind.

At a weekly briefing last week, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch confirmed that Pakistan had received an invitation to attend the summit, saying it was under consideration.

China announced last week that it would not attend the conference, as its conditions for participation had not been met. Beijing has stressed that it will contribute to such talks only if Russia and Ukraine are both present.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
Swiss summit on Ukraine ‘absolutely futile’ – Kremlin

Moscow has described the Swiss-proposed gathering as “pointless,” saying it would not participate, even if invited. Ukraine had said Russia could only be involved if it agreed to a litany of preconditions, which the Kremlin dismissed as unrealistic.

Vladimir Zelensky’s peace roadmap, which he has been promoting since 2022, calls for a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from all territories Ukraine considers its own, for Moscow to pay reparations, and for a war crimes tribunal to be set up.

Ukraine’s Western backers insist that a peace settlement can only be achieved on Kiev’s terms, and have vowed to keep supplying weapons for “as long as it takes.” 

The Kremlin has rejected Ukraine’s demands as “unrealistic” and a sign of its unwillingness to seek a diplomatic solution.

Moscow has maintained that is open to discussions, but will not accept a deal that ignores its national interests, and that Kiev must recognize the “reality on the ground.”

Russia has also stressed that no amount of foreign aid will change the course of the conflict.

June 03, 2024 at 07:39PM

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