Peres To Ukraine For Strategy Forum

JERUSALEM, Israel -- President Shimon Peres is scheduled to leave for the Ukraine on Thursday for a lightning 24-hour visit.

Israel's President Shimon Peres.

Peres will be a keynote speaker at the eighth Yalta European Strategy forum on “Ukraine and the World: Common Challenges, Common Future,” to be held in the Livadia Palace in Yalta from September 15 to 18.

Peres is due to address the conference on September 16, as will Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The forum, known by its acronym of YES, will focus on economic and political challenges currently facing the world, especially Ukraine’s relationship with the European Union and Russia’s role in global diplomacy.

Ukrainian participants will also promote investment opportunities in Ukraine.

Among the other speakers at the conference will be Quartet representative Tony Blair, Vice Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Alexei Kudrin, Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Buildt, former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Larry Summers, a former director of the White House National Economic Council under US President Barack Obama, former secretary-general of the Council of the European Union Javier Solana and many other distinguished political figures, diplomats and academics.

Peres is attending the conference at the personal invitation of Yanukovych.

There is still no word as to whether Peres will travel to New York next week to represent Israel at the United Nations General Assembly.

However, the meeting in the historic Livadia Palace where Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met in February 1945 to discuss how to divide an almost defeated Germany among the allies, will provide Peres with a last ditch opportunity to try to persuade world leaders to vote against the Palestinian initiative for the unilateral declaration of statehood by the UN General Assembly.

Peres will also have a working session with Yanukovych, who is reportedly eager to enhance political, technological and economic ties with Israel.

Source: The Jerusalem Post