Biden to likely miss Peace Summit in Switzerland

Friday, 24 May 2024

US President Joe Biden is likely to miss a Peace Summit in Switzerland in June because of a campaign fundraiser in California. He is expected to attend alongside George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and other stars.

According to Bloomberg, the Peace Summit in Switzerland is scheduled for 15-16 June, after the G7 meeting in Italy. Several G7 leaders plan to join the conference, but Bloomberg noted that neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris would be there.

Biden is scheduled to fly from the G7 meeting in Italy's south to Los Angeles for the 15 June fundraiser.

Bloomberg stressed that such a decision by Biden had emphasised that he was increasingly moving into campaign mode, seeking to overcome former President Donald Trump's lead in swing states ahead of the election.


Adding to the urgency is the fact that Trump eclipsed Biden's fundraising efforts last month for the first time in the current election cycle, raising US$76 million to Biden's US$51 million.

Bloomberg pointed out that this also reflected a broader pessimism about the conference, which Switzerland has agreed to organise at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

However, about 70 countries will participate in the summit at one level or another. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and others should be present.

At the same time, Bloomberg noted that the absence of China would probably disappoint Zelenskyy.  

China and several other countries of the so-called Global South have insisted on Russia's involvement in this process. At the same time, Ukraine and its allies do not want to interact with the Russian Federation until they have a broadly agreed-upon set of principles that will determine any future peace settlement. The Swiss summit was originally envisaged to be a first step towards this goal.

Organisers of the conference have scaled back their ambitions and want to focus on a narrow set of goals, such as nuclear security and prisoner swaps, to broaden the range of participants. However, Bloomberg said that these points did not correspond to Ukraine's peace plan, which provides for the withdrawal of Russian troops and future security guarantees.

It was reported earlier that the White House had not yet disclosed whether US President Joe Biden would participate in the Peace Summit in Switzerland in June. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasised at a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Kyiv in May that it was important for Biden to be present at the Peace Summit.

Blinken expressed expectations that Presidents Zelenskyy and Biden would have the opportunity to meet in the coming weeks, but did not specify a more certain date.

The media reported that Zelenskyy intended to participate in the D-Day celebrations in France next month, and then go to Italy for a meeting of the G7, of which the United States is a member.

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