Belarus and Afghanistan should move from suggestions and conversations to full-fledged cooperation, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with Afghanistan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah on 16 August.
The President remarked that the relations of the Soviet Union and Afghanistan were not easy in the course of history. As one of the former republics of the USSR, Belarus is also responsible for the events of the past.
“Not only the Soviet Union is responsible. To a greater extend this is the responsibility of other countries, you know them very well. I believe that people should not forget their history, but, perhaps, it is not good to dwell on the past either. It is necessary to build relations, to do our best to establish wonderful ties,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “In this regard I would like to assure you as a chief executive that our government will do everything to build the foundation of our relations, to fill them with a qualitatively new content, to move from suggestions and conversations to full-fledged cooperation. We are prepared for it.”
The head of state assured that Belarus is ready to develop cooperation in all areas of interest for Afghanistan. “We can do it with the participation of third countries. Frankly speaking, I have often discussed the topic of Afghanistan and joint cooperation at the meetings with the President of Turkmenistan. I have asked him to help me establish relations with the leadership of Afghanistan, to help us get the ball rolling,” the Belarusian leader remarked. “Therefore, you can be sure that your visit will be full of important events. We will show you everything you want. I think that we will do our best to assist our friendly people of Afghanistan in restoring and developing the economy.”
Alexander Lukashenko added that the Belarusian side has already held negotiations with high-ranking officials of Afghanistan. “However, I am convinced that your visit will open a new page in the cooperation of our states,” he said. The President also congratulated the prime minister of Afghanistan on the upcoming national holiday – Independence Day.
Abdullah Abdullah, in turn, thanked the head of state for the meeting and the discussion of topical issues of bilateral cooperation. “Afghanistan had rather difficult period in its history. We know your great history. We know that your country sustained great losses during the Great Patriotic War. Belarus did heroic deeds to defend its freedom and independence,” he said.
The participants of the talks agreed that there are big prospects for cooperation in machine-building and instrument-making, petrochemistry, oil processing, agriculture, military and technical cooperation, personnel training, and healthcare.
Afghanistan is interested in setting up joint ventures in agriculture and manufacturing, education of Afghan people in Belarusian universities. The chief executive of Afghanistan said that his country has rich natural resources. That is why the cooperation in mining has very good prospects. “Terrorism is a very serious threat for Afghanistan today. At the same time, our government and people are full of determination to rebuild the state, make progress in education, healthcare, agriculture,” Abdullah Abdullah said.