China and Belarus express 'extreme interest' in Ukraine peace
The leaders of China and Belarus have expressed their "extreme interest" in a peaceful resolution in Ukraine.
Chinese President and Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko, a close ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin, issued the statement after talks in Beijing.
Mr Lukashenko said his country "fully supports" a Beijing plan for ending the war in Ukraine.
China announced a plan for peace talks last week, calling for the respect of national sovereignty.
The visit comes days after China sent its top diplomat Wang Yi to meet Mr Putin.
Mr Lukashenko and Mr Xi's meeting also coincided with a visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to Central Asian nations to discuss the Ukraine war.
On Wednesday, China and Belarus "expressed deep concern" about the conflict and "extreme interest in the soonest possible establishment of peace in Ukraine", the Belarus state-run news agency Belta reported.
Mr Lukashenko has aided the Russian leader in his war in Ukraine, and observers have seen his trip to Beijing as another sign of China closing ranks with Russia and its allies.
The Belarus leader praised China's peace plan.