China's Foreign Ministry: Lukashenko to pay state visit to China

China's Foreign Ministry says President Xi Jinping has invited Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to pay a state visit from Tuesday to Thursday.

The ministry made the announcement on Saturday.

On the same day, the Belarusian presidential office said Lukashenko and Xi are scheduled to discuss the strengthening of economic cooperation between the two countries.

It also said the two leaders would focus on possible ways to respond to urgent international issues.

They are expected to confirm their countries' respective positions on the situation in Ukraine.

Ahead of the announcement, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang held telephone talks on Friday with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Aleinik.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Qin explained to Aleinik the contents of a paper released on Friday detailing Beijing's stance on the situation in Ukraine.

The ministry noted how Qin stressed that China has always supported efforts to promote peaceful negotiations.

On February 17, Lukashenko visited Moscow and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaders discussed military cooperation between their countries.