The European Union and China agreed to convene a summit, European Council chief Charles Michel said after speaking with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the two sides aim to repair relations after a deep rift over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

Michel didn’t announce a date, but said in a tweet that China and the EU need to keep talking because “despite differences, dialogue remains crucial.”

Michel told Xi that the EU is seeking a more balanced economic relationship with China even as worries persist over the country’s human-rights record and its imposition of sanctions on European policymakers, an EU official said.

According to Central China Television, Xi delivered a message to Michel that China and the EU need to resolve differences and enhance strategic communications to promote “healthy and stable” bilateral ties.

Beijing has been seeking to bolster alternative lines of communication as it seeks to resolve a dispute over tit-for-tat Xinjiang sanctions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of its most preferred negotiating partners, stepping down soon.

The disagreement has stalled the European Parliament’s approval of a landmark China investment pact spearheaded by Merkel and signed in December.