Macron Discusses Ukraine War With China’s Xi Jinping During Visit

French President Emmanuel Macron met with China’s Xi Jinping on Monday as the Chinese president kicked off his tour of Europe.

Monday’s talks at the Elysee presidential palace focused on the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as the ongoing trade disputes between the two countries.

President Xi’s two-day state visit to France was the first stop on his European tour.

Macron and Xi spoke with reporters following their meeting. The French president expressed hope that China could use its influence on Moscow to encourage Russia to bring an end to the war in Ukraine. Macron urged Beijing, which claims it is neutral in the war, to hold to its commitment not to sell weapons to Russia.

President Xi called on Russia and Ukraine to restart peace talks to end the war, arguing that history has shown that conflicts can only be resolved through negotiations.

The two presidents also voiced concern about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, with President Macron telling reporters that the two countries share the common goal of achieving a ceasefire in Gaza to release the hostages and “facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid.”

President Xi described the war in Gaza as a “tragedy” that tested the “human conscience.” He called on the international community to work for “an immediate, comprehensive, and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.”

Xi also said China was willing to work with France to use the upcoming Paris Summer Olympics as a way to advocate for a global ceasefire while the summer games are underway.

Macron has called for the Summer Olympics to be a “diplomatic moment of peace” as a way to respect the so-called Olympic Truce.

Trade issues between France and China were also central to Monday’s talks as the French President has denounced Beijing’s trade practices. He thanked President Xi for being open to discussing provisional trade measures concerning the export of French cognac.

One French diplomat said President Xi agreed to pause tariffs pending further investigation.