Meeting with ICRC President Peter Maurer

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Belarus will continue to support the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with ICRC PresidentPeter Maurer in Minsk on 8 November.

Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out the importance of the fact that this is the first visit of Peter Maurer as the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross. “This visit should be an important event highlighting the fact that our relations should be advanced to a brand-new level,” the head of state said.

“Our current efforts to open an ICRC representational office mean a lot, and we value it very much,” the president said. “This will open a new page in our relations, will generate new prospects and hopes.”

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the International Committee of the Red Cross has “the noblest mission in the world among all international organizations”. “You have always supported people in trouble, you provide humanitarian aid to them or serve as mediators in providing humanitarian aid wherever possible. You help to look for people in trouble or missing. You are also doing a lot of other things in this field,” the head of state said. “Therefore, these are truly great activities, and we will always support them. You can count on us in this regard.”

Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out the fact that Belarus is also doing its best to help people in need. For example, during the Ukrainian crisis Belarus welcomed about 150,000 refugees and provided all things needed to them. “In fact, Belarusian people and our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are equal for us. You know that we have spent a lot on that but we are not going to calculate those expenses because people were in trouble. Expenses do not matter in such a situation,” the president said.

He also reminded that Belarusians had always been concerned about the war in Syria. “We have provided and are providing humanitarian aid to Syrian people, especially children. We have worked out a program of recuperation for Syrian children in Belarus. We will continue to work in this direction,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Speaking about the prospects of cooperation between Belarus and the ICRC, the head of state said that the Belarusian nation that had gone through a lot of hardships in the course of its history would use a constructive approach in the international humanitarian work. “Our people have gone through a lot of things in the course of history. We were involuntarily engaged in all wars and conflicts hitting Europe, especially from the west to the east. We know the value of life and the destructive power of wars. Therefore, we always respond to people’s calling for help when bombs are falling all over,” the Belarusian president said.