Switzerland gears up for Ukraine peace summit with over 50 delegations confirmed

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Switzerland has had over 50 registrations from the more than 160 delegations the neutral country has invited to a summit next month that Bern hopes will pave the way for a peace process in Ukraine, President Viola Amherd said on Wednesday.

Amherd, speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz after the two held talks in Berlin, said her government was seeking a broad-based turnout for the summit, but that China had not yet said it would attend.

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Countries from South America, Africa and the Middle East were among those that had confirmed they would come, according to Amherd, who in January agreed to host a peace summit at the behest of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Russia has not been invited, and diplomats and foreign policy experts say the talks due to be held near the Swiss city of Lucerne are likely to focus on forging consensus on how to mitigate risks stemming from Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Roughly half of the countries who have said they would take part were non-European, and the list of attendees was likely to keep changing until the last minute, Amherd said.

Switzerland was pressing to persuade more countries from the so-called Global South and China to sign up, she added.

“This work is continuing at full speed,” Amherd said.

Amherd was also asked whether Switzerland would be prepared to hold off taking delivery of a Patriot missile defense system it is due to receive from the US to help Ukraine get one sooner, following a German proposal.

The Swiss president said her cabinet had not yet debated the question, but that she was in discussion with German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on it.

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