20 September 2022

Ukraine on agenda as Foreign Secretary flies to New York for first overseas trip

20 September 2022

The Foreign Secretary will this week join the Prime Minister at a United Nations summit in the US, where he is expected to sharply condemn Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine.

James Cleverly, in his first overseas trip since taking on the role, will speak during a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday.

World leaders and top diplomats from across the globe are gathering in New York for the UN General Assembly, with Mr Cleverly attending as part of a UK delegation headed up by Liz Truss.

The war in Ukraine continues to overshadow global affairs and the visit will see Mr Cleverly meet US secretary of state Antony Blinken later on Tuesday.

He will also meet Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba during his trip.

Mr Cleverly, in a statement before his arrival in New York, called the world “increasingly unstable” and “divided”.

“As Foreign Secretary, I will work to bring countries together to tackle aggression, overcome challenges and promote our democratic values,” he said.

“We will judge others on actions, not words.

“Every day the devastating consequences of Russia’s barbaric tactics become clearer.

“There must be no impunity for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s hostility.”

The key event of the week will be a special UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, where attendees are expected to discuss the war in Ukraine and how to hold Russia accountable.

Mr Cleverly will join fellow G7 foreign ministers for an event on nuclear safety.

It comes amid ongoing concerns about the safety of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in Ukraine after shelling in and around the plant.

Mr Cleverly will also meet India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Canada’s Melanie Joly, as well as Australia’s Penny Wong, this week.

The visit will also see stability in the Middle East discussed, while Mr Cleverly will also attend a global food security event hosted by the US, EU and African Union.

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