A delegation from the Arab League will hold talks on 4 April with the foreign ministers of Russia, Sergei Lavrov, and Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, as part of efforts to seek a diplomatic solution to the ongoing conflict.
Several days after the launch of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Egypt initiated a meeting of permanent representatives to the Arab League in order to agree on a position on the conflict.
The Russian Embassy in Cairo said that representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, Iraq, Sudan and the UAE will be received by Lavrov in Moscow on 4 April, before traveling to Warsaw, Poland the next day to meet with Kuleba.
The Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit has expressed his concerns about the economic and political consequences of the Russian-Ukraine crisis, saying the global hike in food prices has hit the population of West Asia.
Many of these countries are highly dependent on imported wheat from Russia and Ukraine for local consumption.
According to official figures, Egypt – with 103 million inhabitants – is the largest importer of wheat in the world, with 5.5 million tons in imports last year, and with 80 percent of wheat coming from Russia and Ukraine.
Aboul Gheit has also called on member states to approach the situation in a way that would best serve their national interest.
Since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Washington has been demanding that its oil-producing allies in West Asia increase their production quotas to temper the effects of the fuel crisis caused by western sanctions imposed on Moscow.
However, both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have refused these calls, instead doubling down on their OPEC+ commitments and bolstering ties with the Kremlin.
Turkey, the only NATO member state in West Asia, has held previous mediation talks between Russia and Ukraine.
Yet despite its role as a mediator, Turkey has sided more strongly with Kiev, while making sure not to burn bridges with Moscow.
Turkey has become a transit point for former militants from Al-Qaeda and ISIS to travel from Idlib in Syria to Kiev to fight alongside the Ukrainian army.