7 months ago

Zelensky heads to Argentina on his first trip to Latin America

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was travelling to Argentina on Saturday to attend the inauguration of new Argentine President Javier Milei, his first trip to Latin America.

Zelensky's trip, announced on the Telegram messaging app, will focus on Ukraine's longstanding bid to secure the support of countries in the Global South in Ukraine's 21-month-old war against Russia.

The Ukrainian president said he had met the prime minister of the West African country of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva, en route to Argentina and thanked him for "condemning Russian aggression" and supporting Ukrainian initiatives, reports Reuters.

Zelensky hopes to convene a "global peace summit" and has promoted a peace plan rooted in the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and recognition of its post-Soviet borders of 1991.

Kyiv has been trying to build ties with African, Asian and Latin American governments, but has found its support for Israel at odds with the positions of some of those countries.

Ukrainian media speculated this week that Milei's inauguration could serve as a backdrop for a meeting between Zelensky and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to resolve differences over Ukraine's bid for European Union membership.

An EU summit next week will decide on whether to start talks with Ukraine and neighbouring former Soviet republic Moldova -- as recommended by the EU Executive Commission -- on their bids to secure membership.

A decision must be taken unanimously and Orban has repeatedly voiced opposition to starting the talks now.

Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said this week that he was trying to arrange a suitable time for a meeting between the president and Orban.

Like the new Argentine president, Orban is an advocate of right-wing views. In a posting on Saturday on X, formerly Twitter, he said he had already met Milei. Orban hailed the electoral success of the right "not only in Europe but all around the world."

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