Zelenskyy suggests Jerusalem could host peace talks between himself and Putin

Mar 21, 2022: According to a report by AFP, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested Jerusalem could host peace talks between him and Vladimir Putin, his latest attempt to push for a meeting with his Russian counterpart.

“This is the right place for finding peace. If this is possible.”

The Ukrainian president thanked Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for efforts to broker talks in a video released on Telegram late Sunday. “We are grateful… for his every effort. So sooner or later we could start the conversation with Russia. Perhaps in Jerusalem,” said Zelenskyy.

Emphasizing Israel’s strong ties to both Moscow and Kyiv, Israeli President Naftali Bennett has sought to preserve delicate security cooperation with Russia, which has troops in Syria, across Israel’s northern border. With regular phone calls with Zelenskyy and Putin, and also had a three-hour meeting with Putin at the Kremlin on March 5, Bennett has walked a careful diplomatic line since Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

“Of course, Israel has its own interests and defence strategy for their own citizens. We understand all of this,” Zelensky said.

Zelenskyy, who is Jewish, had spoken to Israeli lawmakers via videolink, the latest in a virtual international tour of foreign legislatures that has included the United States’ Congress, Britain’s House of Commons and Germany’s Bundestag.

Addressing the Israeli Knesset, Zelenskyy urged Israel to abandon its effort to maintain neutrality.

On the other hand, Putin has called Ukraine’s leaders “neo-Nazis” and said the “denazification” of Ukraine is one of the reasons for launching the invasion.

Zelenskyy’s comparison of Russian aggression to the holocaust drew swift criticism from some quarters in Israel.

The country has provided humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, but so far ruled out sending military hardware to the embattled country.

The Jewish state has also not joined Western sanctions against Russia.

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