South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has briefed his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the latest developments of the African-led peace initiative to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, where Russian troops have amassed near the border.

Ramaphosa, who is also the current chairperson of the African Union, spoke to Xi on the phone on Friday and expressed his appreciation for China’s support for the African mediation efforts.

He also invited Xi to attend the upcoming AU summit in Addis Ababa, where the peace plan will be discussed and endorsed by the African leaders.

Ramaphosa said that the peace plan, which was drafted by a team of African experts and diplomats, aims to de-escalate the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, and to facilitate a dialogue that respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries.

He said that the peace plan is based on the principles of multilateralism, international law and human rights, and that it seeks to avoid any further violence or military intervention in the region.

He also said that the peace plan is consistent with the UN Security Council resolutions and the Minsk agreements on Ukraine. Ramaphosa said that he hopes that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a strategic partner of Africa, will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in Ukraine and Europe.

He also said that he looks forward to working with Xi to strengthen the bilateral relations between South Africa and China, and to advance the cooperation between Africa and China under the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

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