Meeting with Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II
President Alexander Lukashenko met with Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia,
Archbishop of Mtskheta-Tbilisi and Metropolitan Bishop of Bichvinta and
Tskhum-Abkhazia Ilia II.
Alexander Lukashenko noted
that he long remembered the words Ilia II said the last time he was in Georgia:
“We waited for you to visit us for a long time.”
“I appreciate you always
finding time to meet with me here. And I promise you that I will regularly come
to visit your lovely city and country. And God willing, I will always come to
meet you. For me it is a great honor and a great pleasure. You are a highly
esteemed person not only in Georgia but throughout the Orthodox world and
beyond,” the head of state noted.
The President conveyed Ilia II
greetings from Metropolitan Filaret and Metropolitan Pavel.
“Our peoples have always
maintained very good and warm relations. We are not strangers to each other.
You are our true brothers. We have had no choice but to build the warmest and
good relations already as independent states,” the Belarusian leader noted.
In his words, the two
countries have made great progress in the development of bilateral relations
over the past three years. The two states have built a robust legal framework
and signed a big number of agreements.
“You should know that we will
always stand by. We are ready to share everything we have and can do,”
Alexander Lukashenko said.
The President emphasized an
important role of the church in ensuring the unity of the Georgian people. “Let
along the recent past when the Georgian church played a major part in
preserving the statehood,” the Belarusian leader said.
Speaking about the situation
in the region, the President stressed that Belarus advocates the peaceful
settlement of all conflicts. The head of state stated the need to establish
relations between the conflicting parties, despite any disagreements. “These
relations are possible. They have always been and they will always be. We must
remember that we have our people behind us and they want to live in peace and
be friends,” the head of state said.
Belarus will do its best to maintain
good relations and keep interfaith peace and concord inside the country, the President said. “Belarus is a peaceful and quiet place. This has become our
brand of sorts. We will do everything possible to contribute to peace not only
in the neighboring but also any other state. We are ready to provide any
support these states may ask for, the same way we did to help Ukraine,”
Alexander Lukashenko said.
With regard to Ukraine, the
head of state expressed confidence that the people of that country will cope
with the existing problems soon. “I mean the people. When politicians fail,
then people have to intervene. It is painful but apparently, Ukraine should
survive this period,” the Belarusian leader said.
The President added that any
war begins with a little fight. “Therefore, it is important to stop any
attempts to use force and to avoid discord in the society,” Alexander
Ilia II warmly greeted the
Belarusian head of state and expressed the hope in the further friendship
between Belarus and Georgia. “We are very happy that you support us, and I hope
that future relations will continue developing in the positive way,” he said.
Alexander Lukashenko and Ilia
II exchanged gifts and lit a candle. Belarus President’s son Nikolai, who was
present at the meeting, performed the Schubert Serenade on the piano. Ilia II
also played the music he has written himself.
Before the meeting the
President laid flowers at the Memorial
of Heroes Fallen in the Battle for the Unity of Georgia.