Sat 20 May 2023 9:31 am - Jerusalem Time
Zelensky arrives in Hiroshima today... and holds a meeting with Macron and Biden
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to arrive in Hiroshima, Japan, on Saturday, where he will participate in the G7 summit, and especially this weekend he will hold a bilateral meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, according to diplomatic sources.
And one of these sources stated that Zelensky is expected to arrive in Hiroshima, starting from Saturday, provided that he participates on Sunday in meetings with the leaders of the G7 countries and the countries invited to the summit.
For his part, a French diplomatic source said that Zelensky arrived in Hiroshima on a plane provided by France, following a conversation with Macron and "at the request of the Ukrainians."
He considered it important for the Ukrainian president to go to the summit of the League of Arab States in Saudi Arabia and to the summit of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries.
Zelensky is also scheduled to hold bilateral meetings in Hiroshima with his US counterpart Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
And the White House announced that US President Joe Biden is "looking forward" to meeting his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, during the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan, after he showed willingness to allow other countries to supply Ukraine with highly demanded F-16 fighters.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Biden "looks forward to the opportunity to meet" Zelensky "face to face," confirming that they will hold a meeting in Hiroshima.
It is expected that Zelensky will start a visit to the Japanese city on Saturday, where he will participate on Sunday in the last day of the G7 summit, in the presence of a number of major emerging powers, including India and Brazil. And he stopped in Saudi Arabia on Friday to participate in the Arab League summit.
"It is a very good and important thing that he went to the Arab League so that he would have an opportunity to defend his cause from a Ukrainian point of view, in order for the world to support Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Sullivan said.
Before his arrival in Japan, Biden expressed, after long hesitation, his willingness to allow other countries to supply Kiev with the American-made F-16s, in a decision that Zelensky welcomed, describing it as "historic."
Sullivan assured the press in Hiroshima that Washington was now supporting a joint initiative by its allies to train Ukrainian pilots on the F-16s. And he stressed that during the period of this training, which will take months, the Westerners will decide the timetable for handing over the planes, their number, and the countries that will provide them.
Biden's diplomatic advisor stressed that the American doctrine "has not changed," explaining that "our approach to delivering weapons and equipment and training the Ukrainians follows the requirements of the conflict."
He pointed out that the F-16s are part of the equipment that Kiev will need "in the future" in order to "be able to deter any Russian aggression and defend itself," and this is far from the urgent necessities associated with the Ukrainian counterattack that Kiev announced several weeks ago.
The White House reiterated the US position that the United States, through its military assistance including combat aircraft, "does not facilitate or support attacks on Russian soil." "The Ukrainians have consistently indicated that they are ready to respect this position," Sullivan said.