(Reuters) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has briefed Chinese leader Xi Jinping on an upcoming visit by African leaders to Russia and Ukraine in a bid to end hostilities, the South African presidency said on Saturday.
China’s state broadcaster reported that the two leaders had a phone call on Friday.
In a statement, the South African presidency said Ramaphosa told Xi he had taken note of China’s proposed peace plan and affirmed African leaders’ support for initiatives aimed at a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
“President Xi Jinping hailed the initiative from the African continent and recognized the impact the conflict has had on human lives and food security in Africa,” the presidential statement said.
Various peace proposals to end the war have sprung up in different capitals as the war has displaced millions of people, driven up food prices and damaged global prosperity.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy made a major effort to woo the Global South, a term used for regions of Latin America, Africa and Asia, last month in response to peace moves by some of its members . Ukraine’s stated position for any peace agreement is that all Russian troops must withdraw from its territory.
On May 16, Ramaphosa announced the African peace plan, the details of which have not been made public. The peace plan is also backed by the leaders of Senegal, Uganda, Egypt, the Republic of Congo and Zambia.
During Friday’s call, Ramaphosa and Xi also discussed the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) emerging economies summit to be hosted by South Africa in August.
South Africa has said it is considering legal options if Russian President Vladimir Putin, facing a war crimes arrest warrant, attends the BRICS summit.
The International Criminal Court has issued a warrant against Putin in relation to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and South Africa, as an ICC member, would be required to arrest him if he attends the summit. Johannesburg.
(Reporting by Nelson Banya)