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China wants peace talks, Xi tells Zelenskyy

Update : 27 Apr 2023, 00:06

China said that it would send representatives to Ukraine and hold talks with all parties. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the conversation with his Chinese counterpart "long and meaningful."

Chinese President Xi Jinping told Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy that China has "always stood on the side of peace" during a Wednesday phone call.

"On the issue of the Ukraine crisis, China has always stood on the side of peace and its core position is to promote peace talks," Chinese state broadcaster CCTV cited Xi as saying.

The Chinese leader said that his call with Zelenskyy showed China's "objective" and "impartial" position on international affairs. Xi said that Beijing will send special representatives to Ukraine and hold talks with all parties to the conflict.

China published a 12-point position paper on ending the war in Ukraine in February. Beijing presents itself as a neutral mediator in Ukraine, while also maintaining a "no limits" friendship with Moscow.

Xi said China "will neither watch the fire from the other side, nor add fuel to the fire, let alone take advantage of the crisis to profit". He told Zelenskyy that negotiations were the only "way out" of the conflict.

Zelenskyy called the talks with his Chinese counterpart "long and meaningful."

"I believe that this call, as well as the appointment of Ukraine's ambassador to China, will give a powerful impetus to the development of our bilateral relations," he tweeted.

Zelenskyy announced that Pavel Ryabikin would be Ukraine's new ambassador to China following the call. The newly-appointed envoy previously headed the ministry of strategic industries of Ukraine.

Ukraine has not had an ambassador to China since February 2021.

Meanwhile, the White House welcomed the phone call between Zelenskyy and Xi, but said it was too soon to tell whether it would lead to a peace deal between Russia and Ukraine. France said it "encourages all dialogue" that can "contribute to a resolution of the conflict" that is "in line with the fundamental interests of Kyiv" and international law.

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