Xi briefed on African peace mission to Ukraine, Russia

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has reportedly briefed Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping about an upcoming mission by African leaders to Russia and Ukraine to try and broker peace.

Ramaphosa had announced last month that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, had agreed to receive a six-member African delegation, expected to visit this month.

In a statement, the South African presidency said, “Ramaphosa “has briefed” Xi, the delegation will group the presidents of the Republic of Congo, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

In February, Beijing released a paper calling for a “political settlement” to the conflict, which Western countries warned could enable Russia to hold much of the territory it has seized in Ukraine.

China says it is a neutral party but it has been criticised for refusing to condemn Moscow for its offensive and for its close strategic partnership with Russia.

African countries have been badly hit by rising prices for grain since Russia invaded Ukraine, a major global source of wheat and other agriculture commodities in February 2022.

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