Zelensky arrives in Hiroshima and confirms: “Today peace will be closer”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday that the G7 summit will bring peace “closer” a day after he arrived in Japan to take part in the meetings.

Zelensky wrote on Twitter: “Japan. G7. Important meetings with Ukraine’s partners and friends. Intensified security and cooperation to win. Today peace will be closer.”

The Ukrainian president’s remarks came after he landed in Japan to attend the Group of Seven summit, which continues until Sunday, when the French plane carrying Zelensky landed at Hiroshima Airport, coming from Saudi Arabia, after his participation in the Arab summit.

Zelensky’s visit to Hiroshima, which was unexpected, comes after it was previously announced that he would participate in the G7 summit via video call.

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said that Zelensky will participate in talks on Ukraine with the leaders of the Group of Seven, on Sunday, in addition to a session on “peace and stability”, which will also include non-member countries invited to the summit.

In Hiroshima, Zelensky will also hold bilateral meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The Group of Seven had announced earlier new sanctions against Moscow, and pledged, on Friday, what it described as “starving the war machine” of Russia.

The Ukrainian president’s attendance at the summit in Hiroshima follows a breakthrough in his tireless efforts to convince Washington of Ukraine’s need for F-16s.

Momentum has been building to provide Ukraine with those planes, but Washington’s support is essential because its approval is legally necessary for the re-export of US equipment bought by allies.

The United States has previously cited long and expensive pilot training periods as reasons for not supplying the planes, with officials insisting there are more cost-effective ways to bolster Kiev’s air defenses.

G7 summit.. Biden is “looking forward” to meeting Zelensky in Hiroshima

The White House announced Saturday that US President Joe Biden is “looking forward” to meeting his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, in Hiroshima, confirming that the two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the G7 summit.

But now it seems likely that the F-16s will join the list of advanced systems, including Western tanks and long-range weapons, that Ukraine’s allies agreed to supply after initial hesitation.

Biden told the G7 leaders in Japan that Washington would now support the request, in a move Zelensky praised as a “historic decision”.

Zelensky said he would meet Biden in Hiroshima to discuss “practical implementation” of the plan, while the White House announced that the US president was “looking forward” to the talks, without specifying a date.

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