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Ukraine praises Qatar’s mediation in returning children separated by war

Ukraine praises Qatar’s mediation in returning children separated by war

Qatar is currently playing a pivotal role in reuniting children and families from Russia and Ukraine who have been separated due to the war.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised Qatar’s efforts in reuniting Ukrainian children separated by war, while promoting the Ukraine Peace Formula during a brief visit to the Gulf nation.

According to the Amiri Diwan, Zelenskyy met Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Lusail Palace in Doha on Wednesday, where discussions were centred on the developments in Ukraine and global efforts to halt the war.

Lolwah Al Khater, Qatar’s Minister of State for International Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was also present at the meeting.

“The latest developments in the situation in Ukraine were reviewed, especially the endeavours and efforts of the international community to stop the fighting, protect civilians, and keep all channels of communication open to resolve the crisis,” the Amiri Diwan said.

Qatar is currently playing a pivotal role in reuniting children and families from Russia and Ukraine who have been separated due to the conflict, which broke out more than two years ago.

Doha had announced the first such reunification on October 16, 2023, when it repatriated four Ukrainian children from Russia.

In April, Russia and Ukraine reached a deal through Qatar’s mediation over the exchange of 48 children displaced by the war. The deal would allow 29 children to head to Ukraine and the remaining 19 to Russia.

Last month saw the latest successful reunification, when Qatar mediated the release of six Ukrainian children held in Russia.

Ukraine believes that Russia took more than 19,000 Ukrainian children since the beginning of Moscow’s invasion in February 2022. According to AFP, less than 400 have been returned.

On Wednesday, Zelenskyy reiterated his appreciation for the Gulf state’s role during his meeting with Sheikh Tamim, where both sides discussed the latest developments in the Qatar-led efforts.

“I am grateful for Qatar’s assistance in returning children forcibly deported by Russia. We agreed to continue our cooperation in this area. We rely on Qatar’s continued solidarity with our country during this historic time,” Zelenskyy said on X.

Zelenskyy’s visit also comes as he tries to mobilise support for the Ukraine Peace Formula, a peace plan that he presented during 2022’s G-20 Summit in Indonesia, entailing 10 points to end the war on his country.

The Ukrainian president is also set to meet U.S. President Joe Biden in France this week ahead of the global peace summit, scheduled to take place in Switzerland this month.

“It is important that Qatar supports the Peace Formula. We talked about preparations for the Global Peace Summit, which will include the release of captured and deported Ukrainians among its topics,” Zelenskyy said.

Qatar has maintained a balanced foreign policy since the start of Russia’s war on Ukraine, communicating with both sides while repeatedly calling for the need for dialogue to end the conflict.

Read the complete article here.

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