Joly says she pressed Beijing to include Ukraine in talks with Moscow | War in Ukraine

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Joly says she pressed Beijing to include Ukraine in talks with Moscow | War in Ukraine

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Minister Mélanie Joly participated in a public discussion on multilateralism in Ottawa.

The role of developing countries in the Ukraine conflict took center stage on Friday as Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly met with her Norwegian counterpart in Ottawa.

Ms. Joly said Canada had pressured China to expand its talks with Russia to include Ukraine.

The South African envoy, meanwhile, urged Ottawa to support a settlement to this war instead.

“We need to expand the coalition of states we are talking to. This is a matter of international security.

— Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada

Ms Joly was speaking during a town hall discussion on multilateralism with the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, organized by the Global Center for Pluralism, Ottawa.

The two women briefly touched on the relationship between the two countries, which are both dealing with climate change and reconciliation with indigenous peoples. But the event was mainly aimed at getting developing countries to pressure Russia to end its invasion of Ukraine.

Ms. Joly said she had asked Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to arrange for President Xi Jinping to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky.

China presented on February 24 a “twelve-point” plan for a political settlement of the conflict. Ms. Joly said she used the meeting of G20 foreign ministers in India earlier this month to ask Beijing to broaden its talks beyond just bilateral dialogue with China. Moscow.

When I was in Ukraine, what I clearly heard from President Zelensky was that he had not spoken to Xi Jinping yet, she said . If China really wants to play a role in terms of peace talks, well, first of all, there should be a conversation between these two leaders.

Minister Huitfeldt of Norway, meanwhile, acknowledged that developing countries have lamented that the Ukraine crisis has diverted attention and funding from problems that have festered for years.

I can fully understand their frustration as they suffer from rising food prices and climate change. So we really have to engage, she said. We take money away from humanitarian crises in other parts of the world.

Ms. Huitfeldt also said that many developing countries would like to see a tougher stance on Israel's illegal settlements in the Palestinian territories, otherwise criticism of Russia's invasion rings hollow.

The two northern ministers took questions from the audience, including those from South Africa's High Commissioner to Canada, Rieaz Shaik.

< p class="e-p">The vast majority of people on the planet live in the Southern Hemisphere and we appreciate that you hear our voice when we tell you that we feel voiceless, that we don't feel heard, that we feel ignored , and we invite you to do something about it, stressed Rieaz Shaik.

Mr. Shaik argued that a negotiated settlement is better than countries arming both Ukraine and Russia.

“We are on the brink of a catastrophe unprecedented in human history. The war, the invasion must stop. But listen to the other point of view that says we can get around the table and we can resolve this conflict.

— South African High Commissioner to Canada Rieaz Shaik

Minister Huitfeldt responded that Norway had attempted a sustained campaign of collaboration with neighboring Russia for more than 30 years to promote democracy, but Vladimir Putin has established himself as an authoritarian strongman who has trampled on civil society.

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