The United Arab Emirates has reiterated its call to end the Russian war in Ukraine through diplomacy and dialogue.
The UAE’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Lana Nusseibeh said that the UAE firmly believes that diplomacy remains the only viable way to end the crisis,” in a statement shared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) on Thursday.
The statement said the country “shares the international community’s deep concerns about the repercussions of the current situation on civilians in and out of Ukraine, and regional and international peace, security and stability.”
It called on a “collective responsibility” to being peace and swift resolution to the crisis, adding that the UAE “remains firmly committed to help keep channels of communication open, encourage dialogue, support diplomacy, leveraging all the tools at our disposal to alleviate suffering and find a peaceful and sustainable solution that enhances international peace and security and ends the humanitarian impact on civilians.”
The MoFAIC statement came on the same day as a Reuters report quoting sources who said representatives from Russia and Ukraine met in the UAE last week to discuss the possibility of a prisoner-of-war swap that would be linked to a resumption of Russian ammonia exports, which go to Asia and Africa, via a Ukrainian pipeline.
Reuters’ sources said the talks were being mediated by the Gulf state and did not include the United Nations.
The meeting was reportedly held in Abu Dhabi on November 17. It was not officially confirmed by the UAE’s foreign ministry, or Russia and Ukraine’s defense and foreign ministries.
Most recently, UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Abu Dhabi.
The meeting was held to discuss the existing strategic partnership and bilateral efforts to “enhance prospects for more collaboration across all fronts,” the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on November 4.
The two-day trip came amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow maintains is a “special military operation.”
It followed a meeting between UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg last month.
During the presidential visit, President Putin expressed Russia’s appreciation for the UAE’s efforts in playing a key role in the prisoner exchanges between Russia and Ukraine. Sheikh Mohamed, meanwhile, briefed the Russian president on the Ukrainian side’s position on several issues.
The UAE President also emphasized the need to keep the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine open, while Putin stressed that Russia is keen on the continuation of the UAE’s mediation efforts.
Following his visit to Russia on October 11, WAM reported that the UAE President discussed developments from the Ukrainian conflict in a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, once again emphasizing dialogue and diplomatic solutions as a means to end the conflict.