By John Ensor •
Updated: 16 Nov 2023 • 23:34
David Cameron In Kyiv with President Zelensky.
Just days after being appointed the new UK Foreign Secretary, David Cameron was in Ukraine to meet President Zelensky.
In a significant diplomatic move, David Cameron, the former UK Prime Minister, embarked on his maiden voyage to Ukraine as the new Foreign Secretary, writes the Independent.
On his first official trip abroad since assuming the role, David Cameron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Held in the heart of Kyiv, this visit underlines the UK’s unwavering support for Ukraine amidst the ongoing conflict.
Reflecting on his tenure as Prime Minister, Lord Cameron humorously mentioned his ‘disagreements’ with Boris Johnson. However, he conceded that the UK’s backing of President Zelensky was ‘the finest thing’ his government had achieved.
He said, ‘I had some disagreements with my friend Boris Johnson, and we have known each other for 40 years, and his support for you was the finest thing that he and his government did.’
Cameron, now steering UK’s foreign affairs, asserted his first visit’s significance. He expressed deep admiration for the resilience of the Ukrainian people. ‘I wanted this to be my first visit. Personally, I admire the strength and determination of the Ukrainian people,’ he stated.
Reinforcing the UK’s stance, he added, ‘And what I want to say by being here is we will continue to give you the moral support, the diplomatic support the economic support, but above all the military support, not just this year and next year, but for however long it takes.’
During their discussions, President Zelensky highlighted their focus on military assistance, specifically the provision of weapons and strengthening air defence systems.
Preident Zelensky remarked, ‘We had a good meeting focused on weapons for the frontline, strengthening air defence, and protecting our people and critical infrastructure. I am grateful to the UK for its support!’
Lord Cameron’s visit to Ukraine, shortly after his appointment, is seen as a strategic move to demonstrate the UK’s continuous support. This gesture follows his predecessor James Cleverly’s planned visit, which was postponed due to his recent transfer to the Home Office.
The former prime minister’s visit to the Black Sea port city of Odesa, a first for a British minister since the onset of the war, is symbolic. Despite challenges, such as Russia not renewing a grain export deal, progress has been made in establishing new export corridors.
Lord Cameron observed, ‘In the last three months, Ukraine has made remarkable progress in the Black Sea to drive the Russian Navy eastwards and open critical export corridors for Ukraine’s economy and global food supplies.’
Amidst these diplomatic developments, concerns are growing over the status of Ukrainian refugees in the UK. The government’s lack of clarity on visa fees for refugees beyond March 2025 has raised alarms.
Kitty Hamilton, co-founder of Vigil for Visas, expressed her worries, ‘They are not here because they want to be, they are here because there is a war in their country and they can’t go back yet. It seems unfair to add to this insecurity with a lack of clarity on whether our guests can stay here in the UK.’
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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