Meeting with Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Belarus highly appreciates being awarded the observer status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Dmitry Mezentsev.

"I think that with time Belarus will be of great interest for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This organization will benefit from our participation," said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko assured Dmitry Mezentsev, and through him all members of the Organization, that they will not be sorry for upgrading the Belarus status in this organization. “I understand that an exception was made for Belarus. We do not belong to the Asian region, and we are probably the only European state which is an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It is very important for us," said the President.

"This is not just another platform for conversations and talks, though this is important. Still, the organization includes giant states, giant economies. This is of great interest to us even from the practical point of view, not to mention diplomacy, politics, etc.,” said the Belarusian leader.

"This is why we very much appreciate that today we cooperate directly with heads of other states in this organization, with other states. This will be beneficial,” said the head of state.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted he would like to hear the opinion of Dmitry Mezentsev as the head of the SCO election observation mission in Belarus. “You are an experienced person. You have been to many places, seen different election campaigns. I would like to hear your objective opinion what we should do better to reduce the number of complaints, first of all from our Western partners,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

Dmitry Mezentsev remarked that for the first time ever the SCO has monitored an election in a country that enjoys the SCO observer status. He said that the SCO observers had visited 59 polling stations in Grodno Oblast, Gomel Oblast, Brest Oblast, Minsk Oblast, and Mogilev Oblast. “It was very important for us to note that we have not detected a single violation of the national election laws,” he said.

The official went on saying that the meetings with heads of precinct election commissions, with commission members, with voters, representatives of opposition parties and movements had demonstrated one obvious fact: the election indeed proceeded in an open and democratic manner. The election demonstrated that Belarus citizens accept the right to vote for the future president as the right to evaluate actions of the current government and confirm the policy aimed at the country’s social and economic development.