In a first, Ukraine’s president lands in Saudi Arabia for official visit

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy landed in Saudi Arabia on Friday, in a first official visit by the head of state to the country.

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Mr Zelenskyy is expected to address the Arab League summit and meet with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman al-Saud "and hold other bilateral talks", he posted on Telegram.

He added that the priority goals of the trip were returning all political prisoners and illegally deported from Russia-occupied territories, namely Crimea; presenting Ukraine’s peace plan; and securing energy supply next winter.

"Another priority is to protect the Muslim community of Ukraine. Mustafa Dzhemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people, is with us," Mr Zelenskyy stressed.

"Crimea was the first to suffer from the Russian occupation, and most of those who are being repressed in the occupied Crimea are Muslims."

The Ukrainian leader arrived in the city of Jeddah on a French plane from Poland, Saudi-based TV channel Al Arabiya reported.

Saudi Arabia has been neutral since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, repeatedly expressing its readiness to mediate for a peaceful settlement.

The Arab state was also involved in the prisoner exchange between Ukraine and Russia last September, when more than 200 Ukrainian troops and ten foreign nationals were returned in exchange for Russia’s puppet Viktor Medvedchuk.