Meetings with foreign leaders on sidelines of OIC summit in Istanbul

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Belarus is interested in bolstering trade and economic cooperation with partners from all over the world. Corresponding agreements were concluded during the talks of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko with foreign leaders which took place on the sidelines of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul on 14 April.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar discussed various aspects of Belarus-Qatar cooperation, including the prospects of developing cooperation in the economy. “We hope that the relations between Belarus and Qatar will be developing, and Qatar will view Belarus as a long-term partner,” the Belarusian head of state said.

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in turn, noted that the strategic relations with Belarus are very important for Qatar. He spoke about the readiness of Qatar to bolster all-round cooperation with Belarus.

The meeting of Aleksandr Lukashenko and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev focused on the forthcoming top-level visits which will give an opportunity to thoroughly analyze topical issues emerging under the influence of the global economic crisis. “Today’s meeting is a step towards discussing these matters and problems,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, in turn, said he was pleased to have the opportunity for the meeting. In his words, Belarus-Kazakhstan economic relations develop at a good pace. Moreover, Belarus and Kazakhstan are the members of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “This is why any meeting is beneficial for us,” the Kazakhstan President said.

Nursultan Nazarbayev drew attention to the good prospects of Belarus using Kazakhstan’s transport infrastructure for the sake of advancing trade relations with China. Nursultan Nazarbayev explained that a lot had been done recently for the sake of developing this sphere, greatly accelerating cargo shipments.

Belarus is ready to take an active part in restoring Afghanistan’s economy, Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Afghanistan Prime Minister Abdullah Abdullah.

“We are ready for cooperation with Afghanistan across the board. There are absolutely no forbidden topics,” the head of state assured.

He suggested creating the legal base required to advance Belarus-Afghanistan cooperation by signing ‘classic’ agreements, for instance, on mutual support and protection of investments, in addition to choosing three or four fundamental projects. “We are going to move in this direction. Dozens of other projects will emerge after these ones. I am confident that you will work together with us with great interest,” the President said. “Restoring your country and developing it will require everything Belarus has to offer. And we are prepared for cooperation, for establishing joint ventures, including in Afghanistan, to make the machines you will need.”

Abdullah Abdullah, in turn, said he hopes that the sides will be able to work successfully together and promote mutually beneficial partnership. “I agree that there are excellent opportunities for trade and investments between our countries,” he said.

Belarus also hopes to enhance trade and economic cooperation with Indonesia and raise the bilateral trade to more than $1 billion. The issue was on the agenda of the meeting between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

During the meeting the sides focused on the prospects of cooperation in the manufacturing industry. Belarus is ready to set up joint ventures on the territory of Indonesia taking into account the fact that this country needs freight vehicles and other equipment which are produced in Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the Belarusian side also expects that the leadership of Indonesia will arrive in Minsk. “After this visit we would be able not only to raise the bilateral trade but also expand the range of products that we sell and buy,” the Belarusian leader said.

According to the President, the opening of the Indonesian Embassy in Belarus would give an impetus to the enhancement of bilateral relations.

During the talks between Aleksandr Lukashenko and Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain the sides pointed out a good dynamics in the development of the Belarusian-Pakistani cooperation. “We have made rapid progress in many areas of bilateral cooperation. Our main objective is to step up efforts, and we are prepared for it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

After numerous talks the Belarusian President and foreign leaders agreed to exchange top-level visits which are expected to promote the development of bilateral relations.