Mexican president previews Ukraine peace plan after criticizing U.N

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President delivers his State of Union address to congress

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday said his government would present a plan to the United Nations to end Russia's war in Ukraine, moments after criticizing the world body and calling for it to be reformed.

Lopez Obrador, who expounds on the virtues of a non-interventionist foreign policy, said his plan involves the creation of a "mediation committee" that includes Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pope Francis.

Modi in May called for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks between the Kyiv government and Russia, which invaded its neighbor on Feb. 24.

Under Lopez Obrador's plan, the mediators would immediately start talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to achieve "a truce of at least five years."

The plan was scant on other details, but Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference he will discuss it further in a speech celebrating Mexico's independence on Friday.

"I'm going to talk about world peace and I'm going to talk about Mexico's position on the war in Russia and Ukraine, and I am going to present a proposal to the United Nations to achieve peace," Lopez Obrador said.

The war has displaced millions, killed thousands of civilians and left cities, towns and villages in ruins.

The Mexican leader presented his idea of including U.N. chief Guterres in his peace plan days after he defiantly dismissed criticism of his security policy by domestic adversaries and the U.N. following a vote in Congress to give the Army control over the civilian-led National Guard.

On Monday, Lopez Obrador described the United Nations, along with the Washington-based Organization of American States, as "supposed defenders" of human rights, saying they cost too much, provided no results and needed to be reformed.

"And when I say they cost a lot: it's that they earn in dollars and barely break a sweat, they don't work and you have to pay them and it's as if they are untouchable, they feel like members of the world government."

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard is expected to present the peace plan at the U.N.'s annual General Assembly next week in New York.

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito, Raul Cortes and Brendan O'Boyle; Grant McCool)