Switzerland Says 90 States, Organizations Signed Up for Ukraine Summit

Swiss President Viola Amherd speaks as the government holds a press conference to brief media ahead of its June 15-16 peace summit for Ukraine, in Bern, Switzerland, June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
Swiss President Viola Amherd speaks as the government holds a press conference to brief media ahead of its June 15-16 peace summit for Ukraine, in Bern, Switzerland, June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
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Switzerland Says 90 States, Organizations Signed Up for Ukraine Summit

Swiss President Viola Amherd speaks as the government holds a press conference to brief media ahead of its June 15-16 peace summit for Ukraine, in Bern, Switzerland, June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
Swiss President Viola Amherd speaks as the government holds a press conference to brief media ahead of its June 15-16 peace summit for Ukraine, in Bern, Switzerland, June 10, 2024. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

Ninety states and organizations have so far registered to take part in a summit aiming to pave the way for peace in Ukraine that Switzerland will host from June 15-16, the Swiss government said on Monday.
Russia has not been invited to the summit due to be held in central Switzerland, but, according to Reuters, the government said in a statement that the gathering will aim to "jointly define a roadmap" on how to involve both it and Ukraine in a future peace process.
Switzerland in January agreed to host the summit at the behest of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and has tried to drum up support for it among countries that have better relations with Moscow than leading Western powers.
Russia has dismissed the summit as a waste of time. It was not invited to participate, Switzerland says, because it signaled it had no interest in attending. Switzerland also stresses though, that Russia must be part of the peace process.
Its absence has encouraged powerful allies of Moscow such as China to say there is no point in peace talks unless both Russia and Ukraine take part. That has muted expectations for any kind of major breakthrough at the talks being held in Switzerland.
The summit is due to discuss areas of broad international concern, such as the need for nuclear and food security, freedom of navigation as well as humanitarian issues, such as prisoners of war, Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said.



Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
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Harris Condemns Flag Burning, Hamas Graffiti at Protest in Washington

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the American Federation of Teachers' 88th National Convention on July 25, 2024 in Houston, Texas. (Getty Images via AFP)

US Vice President Kamala Harris joined Democratic and Republican leaders in condemning protesters who burned American flags and sprayed pro-Hamas graffiti outside Washington's Union Station on Wednesday, describing the acts as unpatriotic and abhorrent.

The protests coincided with a speech to Congress by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Before he spoke, protesters marched near the US Capitol building, condemning US military aid to Israel during its war with Hamas militants in Gaza.

Following Netanyahu's speech, some of the demonstrators gathered in front of Union Station. They hoisted American flags outside the iconic train station, burned American ones and spray painted the words "Hamas is coming" and "Free Gaza" on a large monument.

Harris, the Democrats' presidential candidate, said in a statement on Thursday that she condemns any individuals associating with Hamas.

"I condemn the burning of the American flag. That flag is a symbol of our highest ideals as a nation and represents the promise of America. It should never be desecrated in that way," Harris said.

Harris and Biden were due to hold separate meetings with Netanyahu later on Thursday. More protests were planned for outside the White House.

During the protest on Wednesday, before some of the protesters converged near Union Station, police used pepper spray on some of the thousands of demonstrators present and made some arrests.

The flag burning and graffiti outside Union Station drew strong criticism from Republican US House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson and Hakeem Jeffries, the chamber's Democratic leader.