France’s Macron urges more Chinese pressure to end Ukraine war

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French President Emmanuel Macron urged China’s Xi Jinping on Tuesday to bring Russia to the negotiating table over the war in Ukraine, the presidency said.

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The two leaders held talks just before the opening of the G20 summit in Indonesia, Bali, where Moscow is under pressure over its eight-month invasion and its disastrous consequences for global food and energy prices.

Macron called on Xi to “pass messages to President Putin to avoid escalation and return seriously to the negotiating table,” the French presidency told reporters after talks that lasted nearly an hour.

The pair shook hands as they opened talks, with Macron saying the nations must “unite forces to respond... to international crises like Russia's war in Ukraine.”

Xi made no direct mention of the conflict, according to a readout on Chinese state news agency Xinhua, but described the world as being in a “period of turbulence and transformation” and called for “openness and cooperation.”

The pair met a day after Xi held marathon talks with US President Joe Biden, with the leaders vowing to prevent their rivalry from spilling over into outright conflict.

Xi, on his second overseas trip since the pandemic, has commanded the spotlight in Bali -- with officials lining up to hold face-to-face talks with the leader of the world's second-largest economy.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet the Chinese leader later Tuesday, and Britain’s new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also said he hopes to talk with Xi.

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