Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Bolivia President Evo Morales

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  • 4:22
Belarus seeks closer relations with Bolivia and is ready to make serious steps to advance bilateral cooperation to a brand-new level as soon as possible, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with President of Bolivia Evo Morales in Minsk on 4 September.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that cooperation between the two countries is now below where it should be and does not match the potential of the countries. The Belarusian leader underlined that Belarus and Bolivia have absolutely no barriers for expanding and deepening cooperation.

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested using the experience of Belarus-Venezuela relations to advance cooperation with Bolivia.

“I would like you to know that there are no topics to avoid in our cooperation with Bolivia. We have experience of advancing relations with Venezuela, we can repeat the experience, do the same things we are doing in Venezuela,” the Belarusian head of state said.

The President of Belarus suggested starting relations with Bolivia by implementing 3-4 fundamental projects. “Literally speaking we have to determine the way we should enter your country,” he noted.

“Today is the beginning of a new stage in Belarus-Bolivia cooperation. You are a welcome guest, you are well known in our country,” the Belarusian head of state told his Bolivian counterpart.

Evo Morales, for his part, suggested expanding Belarus’ presence in Latin America by means of closer ties with Bolivia. In his words, Belarus and Bolivia have just started promoting the bilateral cooperation. “I would like to recall Cuba and Venezuela and our friend Hugo Chavez who helped us start these relations. We will pay tribute to Hugo Chavez by intensifying our cooperation,” the President of Bolivia said.

“Our friend Hugo Chavez was more than just a middleman in our relations; he was a protocol representative of your country in entire Latin America. We would like to continue the things he started. Belarus-Venezuela cooperation model will be used as an example to promote cooperation with Bolivia and other countries of the region,” Evo Morales stressed.

He emphasized that besides trade, Bolivia attaches much importance to diplomatic contacts. “At this meeting we would like to express trust in each other, share our values, and tell each other about our goals and objectives. I am glad that this meeting has an open agenda and we will be able to discuss all the matters related to Belarus’ presence in Bolivia and in entire Latin America on the model of cooperation with Venezuela,” Evo Morales said.

He also expressed admiration and respect for social reforms and the policy in the interests of people carried out in Belarus.

After the negotiations the presidents decided to set up the Belarusian-Bolivian joint commission on cooperation.

The commission will be headed by Head of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate Viktor Sheiman and by the Head of the Bolivian President Administration. The Vice President of Bolivia will also make part of the commission.

In the near future the commission will meet in Minsk to get familiar with Belarus’ potential. The second meeting of the commission will take place in the capital of Bolivia. After that the commission will prepare concrete proposals for Belarus-Bolivia cooperation development and submit them to the Presidents of the two countries.

The commission will discuss the cooperation in agriculture, mining, and other issues that will be of interest to both sides.

“We believe that it is important to foster ties with Bolivia and would like our cooperation to reach the proper level within a short period of time,” the Belarusian President emphasized.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the two countries have a foundation for economic cooperation. “You have the goods and opportunities we need. We produce the things you need. Our economies are complementary, and we are able to expand our cooperation in this area,” the Belarusian head of state said.

The presidents agreed to advance cooperation between Belarus and Bolivia in manufacturing agricultural products, supplying Belarusian agricultural machines to Bolivia. The Belarusian side is ready to train Bolivians, including in agricultural professions, because, the Belarusian head of state believes that the industry is very well-developed in Belarus. Apart from that, the sides attach special importance to cooperation in military and technical area and in culture.

The two heads of state said that the current level of the trade and economic relations does not meet the real potential of the two countries. “We have a lot of work ahead in order to determine the most promising cooperation areas between the two states,” the President of Belarus said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko assured Evo Morales that Belarus is ready to share its best practices with Bolivia.

“In the complicated and restless world, which is affected by financial and economic crises, external threats and political intrigues, it has never been more important to have friendly countries standing next to you, countries, which are interested in productive cooperation. With this in mind, we will build our relations,” the Belarusian President said.

The Belarusian head of state remarked that the Belarusians like the Bolivian nation and keep an eye on the changes going on in the country, the country’s rising respect in Latin America and the international scene as a whole.

According to the Belarusian head of state, in Belarus Evo Morales’ official visit is regarded as an intention to advance relations between the two countries and develop mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas.

Evo Morales said that the concurrent accreditation of the Ambassador to Russia in Belarus will be one of the first steps to develop bilateral cooperation.

“I was delighted when I saw your determination and readiness to intensify our cooperation,” the President of Bolivia said.

He also said that the topics of agriculture and food are very important for Bolivia. The Bolivian head of state thanked Belarus for the proposal to train Bolivian citizens in agricultural majors.

Evo Morales also invited the President of Belarus to make a return visit to Bolivia.

After the negotiations the sides signed an intergovernmental agreement on trade and economic cooperation, an intergovernmental agreement on the abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic, service and official passports. The two documents were signed by foreign ministers of Belarus and Bolivia.