Belarus supports China peace plan, Putin ally Lukashenko tells Xi

Beijing, Mar 1 (EFE).- Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said Wednesday that he fully supports a global peace initiative championed by his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

During a meeting with Xi in Beijing, Lukashenko said the “difficult” current geopolitical landscape – namely, the war in Ukraine – requires “new nonstandard approaches and responsible political decisions” which “should be aimed to prevent global confrontation which will have no winners,” according to the state-run Belta news agency.

“Belarus has been actively proposing peace and fully supports your initiative on international security,” said Lukashenko, one of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies.

Lukashenko also praised the initiative for global development launched by Beijing – known as the Belt and Road Initiative – and said that “expansion of contacts with China is a priority in our foreign policy.”

During the meeting, Xi said that relations between the two countries should be “filled with new content” and that the “friendship” between Beijing and Minsk is “strong” and “unbreakable.”

“In the context of instability and turbulence of the international situation, China is firmly committed to continuing joint efforts with Belarus to strengthen political mutual trust and practical cooperation,” Xi said.

Xi, later quoted by the Chinese press, also said that China’s position on the “crisis” in Ukraine is about “facilitating dialogue for peace.”

Isolated from Europe and the rest of the West by its authoritarian suppression of protests in 2020 and its tough policies towards migrants, Lukashenko’s government is increasingly turning to allies such as Beijing and Moscow for diplomatic support.

Both sides, according to Belta, signed a joint statement to develop “exemplary” relations on the basis of their “comprehensive strategic partnership”, a term Beijing uses with its allies.

During the visit, representatives from the two countries are expected to sign a range of cooperation agreements in areas such as economy, trade, finance, manufacturing, agriculture, science, technology, health, tourism, media and sports.

Lukashenko’s trip comes a few days after Beijing presented a document in which it explained its “position for a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine” and emphasized the need for “dialogue and negotiations”.

China has maintained an ambiguous stance on the war in Ukraine, calling for respect for “the territorial integrity of all countries,” including Ukraine, as well as highlighting the “legitimate concerns of all countries,” in reference to Russia. EFE


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