Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko received credentials of 12 ambassadors and a new head of the EU Delegation to Belarus. The solemn ceremony took place at the Palace of Independence on 12 September.
Aleksandr Lukashenko received credentials od ambassadors of Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Guatemala, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Russia, Tanzania, Croatia, Switzerland, Ethiopia and the European Union.
“I sincerely hope that you, just like your predecessors, will find a place for Belarus in your hearts. I hope that you will open new culture, perhaps, will find something close and in keeping with the traditions of your peoples here. You will see that kind, open and tolerant people live here,” the President said.
“The beginning of your mission here coincides with an important political event in the country - the upcoming parliamentary elections. You will see for yourselves that the election campaign is held in strict accordance with the national legislation and the requirements of the generally accepted international standards,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko addressing the diplomats.
According to the head of state, the West has always blamed Belarus for boring election campaigns. However, according to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the first days of signature collection “have already proved to be fun”.
“I am convinced that no matter what choice the Belarusian people will make, it will be a choice of a course for further construction of a sovereign state, evolutionary development and multiplication of our achievements,” the President stressed.
According to the head of state, Belarus pursues an open, peace-loving and multifaceted foreign policy. The country is prepared for close and mutually beneficial cooperation with all foreign partners regardless of their political influence, geographic location and economic potential.
He remarked that Belarus’ initiatives on keeping peace and stability in the region are well known to everybody. In his words, the country is always ready to become a venue for the resolution of global conflicts and to host large-scale international forums on security.
“Disagreements between key global players regarding armament control once again strengthen the need to develop new approaches to ensuring international and regional security and make Belarus’ initiative on resuming a corresponding international dialogue even more necessary,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“In the future we will continue to encourage big and small countries to take efficient measures for the enhancement of trust and economic stability,” the head of state emphasized.
In his words, every diplomat will have a significant influence on the nature of relations between states and on the level of mutual trust and understanding. “The focus on tangible results in bilateral cooperation will get a sincere response and support in our country. I am convinced that you are capable of finding new ways and opportunities for it,” the President emphasized.
Addressing Russian Ambassador Dmitry Mezentsev, the President stressed: “Your country is the main strategic partner and ally of Belarus, and the relations between our brotherly peoples are based on the bonds of friendship, good neighborliness and common history, sometimes with bloody pages. We shed blood for peace in Europe and the world. We didn't start those wars. But we always (the Lord helped this) came out victors. We remember that. We stood side by side and that was why we won. Therefore, the development and deepening of multifaceted bilateral ties with Russia is an absolute priority of the Belarusian foreign policy.”
Special consideration is currently given to the issues of the Union State development. “The Russian President and I agreed to adopt decisions on the further strategy of our integration in the run-up to the landmark date - the 20th anniversary of the Union State Treaty. And we will do it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
Kazakhstan is a strategic partner for Belarus in the Eurasian region. “Belarus-Kazakhstan relations are increasingly vibrant, there is active political dialogue between all branches of power,” the head of state said. “We are committed to the further expansion and diversification of trade and economic ties. For this purpose, it is essential to maintain a high level of interaction, including in the Eurasian Economic Union.”
The Belarusian President remarked that Kyrgyzstan has traditionally been an important ally and partner for Belarus. “In the period of 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan have been cooperating in all avenues. We successfully interact in the economy, trade, science, technology, culture, and in the humanitarian field,” he said.
Boosting bilateral trade using the potential of the EAEU is a priority in bilateral relations. “It is possible because the bilateral trade increased 2.5 times in the past two years,” the President added.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in recent years Belarus has made significant progress in the dialogue with the European Union, which is one of the most important trading partners for the country, an important source of innovations necessary for modernization and improving the competitiveness of the Belarusian economy.
“We are set to build good-neighborly and pragmatic relations with the union [EU] which do not suggest a choice between East and West. But, the truth is, the European Union does not demand this from us. I am convinced that this would greatly contribute to the progress in the approximation of the European and Eurasian integration processes,” the head of state stressed.
Addressing the ambassador of Latvia, the head of state emphasized that the development of all-round interaction with the neighboring countries of the Baltic region had always been a priority for Belarus. Belarus and Latvia are geographically close countries with common economic interests, similar traditions, culture and history. “Further expansion and enhancement of mutually beneficial relations with the Republic of Latvia on the principles of good neighborliness and mutual respect are of paramount important for our state. The issue has been recently discussed with the minister of foreign affairs of this country,” the Belarusian leader added.
“Belarus is interested in bolstering versatile cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany, which is one of the key political and economic partners in Europe in all over the world for us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
Regardless of the complicated history of Belarus-Germany relations, today the two countries have common interests, first of all, in ensuring security, stability and prosperity in Europe.
“We hope to intensify bilateral cooperation, first of all, in the economy, trade and investment where we have a big potential,” the President said.
Accordion to the head of state, Belarus is prepared for the further constructive development of relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland across the board.
“The dialogue with the United Kingdom is especially important taking into account the decision of the British nation to exit the European Union and a new role of the country on the international arena,” he said. “We are interested in the further expansion of the trade, economic and investment cooperation with the United Kingdom and want to fill the intergovernmental trade dialogue with serious economic content and large-scale projects.”
“Many officials and I have always found common ground and discussed various issues in detail (I’ve recently had a meeting with the outgoing ambassador, who spoke in very good terms about the new ambassador). Belarus and the United Kingdom have very good prospects. I am convinced that we will achieve a lot,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President of Belarus, the cooperation with Bulgaria has a long history. “This is a very close country for us. I don’t know how we are viewed in Bulgaria today, but you have always been and will always be close people for us.”
However, the today’s level of cooperation does not fully reflect the real potential of relations. “It is common knowledge that Bulgaria is a popular destination for Belarusian tourists. We also see good prospects for the development of bilateral interaction in the manufacturing sector, agricultural industry, science and technology, education and culture,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state reaffirmed Belarus’ interest in the expansion of political, economic and cultural contacts with Croatia.
“Belarus and Croatia need to step up efforts to advance cooperation to a brand-new level in trade and investment in the near future. We have a serious potential for it,” he remarked.
The President spoke in positive terms about a higher status of the Swiss diplomatic mission in Belarus and about the appointment of the first Swiss ambassador. “You have made history, starting from Belarus,” he said addressing the new head of the diplomatic mission.
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that Belarus pays much attention to the development of relations with the Swiss Confederation.
“Over the past years we have made a significant progress in advancing our contacts and making them more meaningful. It is important to preserve this positive dynamics,” the head of state said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, one of Belarus’ key foreign economic goals is the gradual diversification of export. And the cooperation with countries of the so-called distant act is in the spotlight. “I am saying the distant arc not because these countries are far away, but because we haven’t had such cooperation before,” he explained.
In this context, the President reaffirmed Belarus’ interest in the comprehensive development of relations with the Republic of Guatemala. “The current level of relations requires a fuller utilization of the two countries’ potential,” the Belarusian leader is convinced. “Of course, the trade and economic cooperation should be the locomotive of interaction. The delivery of fertilizers, machines and equipment, agricultural produce is an incomplete list of opportunities for us.”
The Belarusian President reaffirmed Belarus’ interest in the development of multifaceted cooperation with countries of Eastern Africa in trade, manufacturing, agriculture, science and technology, education and culture, sport and tourism. Addressing the new ambassadors of Tanzania and Ethiopia, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he hopes for mutually beneficial cooperation with these countries. First of all, in setting up joint ventures and the delivery of Belarusian advanced technology products which are already well known in the majority of African states.
“We hope that the new ambassadors will make a worthy contribution to the development of relations in other areas of mutual interest. These include the training of qualified specialists for Tanzania and Ethiopia in Belarusian universities,” the President said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko wished all diplomats productive work. “I assure you that you will always find understanding in directors of our enterprises, governors, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in me. I hope the time that you will spend in our country will be eventful and interesting. Belarus will greet you with its full splendor,” the head of state concluded.