Pope’s envoy talks Ukraine war with China — Vatican
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis’s peace envoy to Ukraine met Thursday with a representative of China’s foreign ministry in Beijing to discuss “efforts to foster dialogue” to end the war, the Vatican said.
Cardinal Matteo Zuppi, who is on a three-day trip to Beijing, met with Li Hui, China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs, for an “open and cordial” chat, it said in a statement.
The conversation was “devoted to the war in Ukraine and its dramatic consequences, emphasizing the need to unite efforts to foster dialogue and find paths leading to peace” it said.
“The problem of food security was also addressed, with the hope that cereal exports could soon be guaranteed, especially for the countries most at risk,” it added.
Zuppi, who is head of the Italian bishops’ conference, was asked in May by the 86-year-old pope to lead a peace mission to try and stop the war.
The cardinal travelled to Kyiv in June, where he met President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Three weeks later, he went to Moscow where he met the ombudswoman for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova, who is wanted by the International Court of Human Rights for the illegal transfer of Ukrainian children to Russia.
In July, Zuppi met with US President Joe Biden about Vatican humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.
Zuppi, 67, was elected head of the Italian Episcopal Conference last year, and hails from the Sant’Egidio Catholic Community, which specializes in diplomacy and peace efforts.
China has been Russia’s key international ally but has also stepped up diplomacy with Ukraine and has stopped short of full-fledged military support for Moscow.
Pope Francis regularly calls for peace in Ukraine, although in the early months after Russia’s February 2022 invasion he drew criticism for not naming Moscow as the aggressor.