Official visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Belarus

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Belarus assigns a high priority to enhancing full-scale cooperation with Pakistan. Belarus believes that Pakistan is one of the leaders in the region. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement after negotiations with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Minsk on 10 August.

At the beginning of the talks Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Nawaz Sharif for keeping his word. “We agreed to meet in Minsk at this hour on this day. Thanks to your ability to stand by your words, you and I are meeting in Minsk at this hour on this day,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that during the meeting in Islamabad the sides agreed that the visit would be saturated with economic events and would result in the creation of a solid legal base for the two countries. “It has happened. We intend to sign a score of documents as a result of the talks,” the Belarusian head of state said. The sides worked hard to prepare the visit. Representatives of Belarusian business circles, ministers had visited Pakistan. Members of the Pakistan government and businessmen had visited Belarus for the sake of learning more about the country so that serious decisions at the top level could be made after that.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said, “Our respect for you in Belarus is limitless. You are the politician that can be an example for any politician in the world, including me. Your life is a fight to reach the goals you set for your team, your party, and your colleagues. Anyone can envy your political life. You are the recognized leader of the peoples of Pakistan and we welcome you in Belarus in a fitting manner.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that slightly more than two months had passed since the meeting in Islamabad, and the sides have already made sure that the proposals to improve contacts between the two countries discussed at the meeting were timely. In June-July Pakistan welcomed delegations of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, BelAZ and MAZ, Belarusian Forestry Company and Belorusneft. At the beginning of August Minsk hosted the first session of the joint commission for military and technical cooperation. The President deems it necessary to focus on cooperation in these fields. “We can offer a lot of things and work in this important sector together,” the Belarusian head of state said.

In his opinion, there are good prospects for the training of Pakistani specialists, and the delegation led by secretary of the Pakistan government for education and professional training Muhammad Tajwar saw it during the visit to Minsk. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the meetings held in Belarusian universities will help increase the number of students from Pakistan.

The President also believes that the first session of the Belarus-Pakistan joint commission was the logical continuation of mutually beneficial contacts. In his opinion, such sessions should be held every year to bolster trade, economic and investment ties.

Interregional cooperation is an important component of bilateral relations, stressed the head of state. In his words, the first step in this direction was made in Islamabad in May when the Mogilev Oblast administration and the administration of Punjab Province signed the relevant agreement. “Now it is necessary to fill the agreement with practical content, arrange business and investment forums, cultural events,” the Belarusian leader said. “Other regions of Belarus and Pakistan will follow suit to advance contacts at such a pace,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined that the potential of Belarus-Pakistan interaction can be fully utilized by going outside the limits of purely bilateral cooperation. In his words, it is important to implement joint projects and render mutual aid in the United Nations Organization and other international organizations.

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the Belarusian side welcomed the decision to open a Pakistan embassy in Belarus. “We will do everything for you to choose the location and build the embassy without any problems,” said the Belarusian head of state. In turn, he asked the Prime Minister of Pakistan to help the Belarusian side choose a decent location for the Belarusian embassy in the diplomatic block of Islamabad.

Taking the opportunity, Aleksandr Lukashenko congratulated the Pakistani side on the national holiday — Pakistan Independence Day — that will be celebrated on 14 August. “We know about the complicated and heroic history of your country and understand how much a nation needs peace, economic development, and prosperity,” said the Belarusian leader.

After the talks the sides signed a package of 15 documents concerning inter-agency, humanitarian, regional, inter-university cooperation, the agreement of friendship and cooperation between Belarus and Pakistan.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted he was satisfied with results of the negotiations. He stressed that the negotiations represent only some of the Belarusian-Pakistani events that had taken place prior to the visit and will take place in the days of the first visit of the Pakistan prime minister to Belarus.

“We have discussed a broad range of matters concerning various spheres of bilateral relations. We have exchanged views on topical international and regional problems of mutual interest,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko. According to the Belarusian leader, Nawaz Sharif informed in detail about the situation in the region where Pakistan is, about the decrease in tensions caused by efforts of Pakistan’s leadership among other factors. “We appreciate it,” the Belarusian head of state said.

The President stressed that the development and advancement of political dialogue between the two countries is of huge importance for the Belarusian side as well as the enhancement of interparliamentary ties, trade and economic relations, and the expansion of the legal base of the bilateral cooperation.

In his words, the sides were satisfied with the fact that their views on many issues on the international agenda coincide. They also confirmed the importance of raising the United Nations Organization’s role in resolving global issues concerning sustainable development, stronger security and stability across the globe.

Apart from that, the sides confirmed their mutual readiness to expand cooperation in fighting terrorism, extremism, illegal migration, trafficking in persons, transboundary organized crime, illegal trade in weapons and drugs.

“There are six densely populated countries like Pakistan across the globe. Climate on our planet will depend on the situation in these countries, on their stability. The fact that Pakistan now successfully fights against those, who destabilize the situation in regions of the planet — apart from investing heavily in this fight Pakistan has also sacrificed lives of its sons for the cause — and wins represent a huge contribution to the protection of peace and stability on our planet,” said the Belarus President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus is ready to seriously discuss opportunities of cooperation in implementing a number of major projects in Pakistan. Belarus is also ready to take part in creating a Pakistani-Chinese economic corridor. “We must use the potential of our good relations — Belarus’ and Pakistan’s — with China. The triangle Minsk-Beijing-Islamabad can become a promising formula of cooperation taking into account the complementarity of each city in geographical and economic sense,” believes the Belarusian leader.

Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that the Belarusian-Pakistani economic relations should develop more dynamically. They should not be limited to trade. The two countries need to build up the capacity of industrial cooperation and investment. We know that in Pakistan Belarus is primarily associated with the same-name tractors, and only then with the country. The Belarusians have long known Pakistani rice, textiles, and other products, the Belarusian leader said.

We have decided that the members of the joint Belarusian-Pakistani commission will work intensively in order to develop the roadmap for the development of relations for the short and med-term perspectives, the Belarusian leader said.

The head of state said that today the parties should come closer to reaching the agreements which will allow making great advances in such areas as industry, pharmacology, logistics, agriculture and others in the future.

The President is confident that the first in history official visit of the Pakistani prime minister, the leader of the people of Pakistan, to Belarus will mark an important stage in the development of the all-round bilateral cooperation and will fill it with new content. “You should know that you have friends here, and we will always be glad to see you in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.     

Nawaz Sharif, in turn, said that Pakistan appreciated the recent visit of Aleksandr Lukashenko. “You have laid a foundation of friendship between our countries, and today we view our visit as the continuation and further enhancement of our friendship,” he said addressing the Belarusian leader.

The Pakistan prime minister invited the Belarusian President to visit Pakistan one more time. “Now, when our relations are increasingly vibrant, we need to meet more often,” Nawaz Sharif believes.

After the negotiations the prime minister of Pakistan attended the official dinner on behalf of the Belarusian President.

Nawaz Sharif also planted a tree on the Alley of Distinguished Guests near the Palace of Independence in Minsk.