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KYIV: A senior Ukrainian official said on Monday that the weekend’s talks in Saudi Arabia about the war in Ukraine dealt a “huge blow” to Russia, and that the participants agreed to hold another meeting of political advisers within about six weeks.

More than 40 countries, including China, India, the United States, and European countries, but not Russia, took part in the talks that are seen as an attempt by Kyiv to build a broader coalition of powers to support its vision of peace.

“We will hold another meeting within a month, month-and-a-half and we will move towards (holding) a summit,” presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak told reporters at a briefing in Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has promoted a set of 10 principles that Kyiv wants to serve as the basis for peace to end the full-scale war launched by Moscow in February 2022.

Ukraine expects difficult but successful talks in Saudi Arabia

The principles include the withdrawal of all Russian troops and the return of all Ukrainian territory to its control.

Yermak said all the countries present at the talks in Jeddah fully supported Ukrainian independence and territorial integrity, and that only peace initiatives put forward by Ukraine were discussed at the meeting.

He acknowledged a lack of agreement remained between participants on some points of Ukraine’s peace formula, without elaborating further. He said that was the reason a summit would not be held by the end of this month.

Those points were still being discussed, he said, adding that participants were working on a draft framework document that would be adopted at a future peace summit.

He also told the briefing that Russia had made efforts to disrupt the talks in Saudi Arabia, but provided no details of how Moscow had done that.

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