Negotiations with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Palace of Independence on 7 September.
“Glad to welcome you in Belarus. We have been waiting for you for a long time. Africa has a romantic and mysterious allure to people from the north. Everyone perceives this continent in their own way. But everyone shares the view that Africa will in many ways shape the future of the planet. I also hold this opinion. For me, Africa is no longer a mysterious continent. In the past I visited mostly North Africa, while in recent years I have been able to visit both the center and the south of your continent. Therefore, I have an understanding of what Africa is, and I am happy with the processes that are taking place in Africa,” the President said.
“Africa is pushing forward, African nations are becoming truly independent. In other words, Africa is freeing itself from its colonial legacy. You should know that we absolutely welcome this process way and will support those nations that want to become independent,” the head of state assured.
Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus is a tech-savvy nation and is ready to share its technologies not only with Equatorial Guinea, but also with other interested African states.: “You will see what we have, you will be shown our production capacities. And if you like something, if you think that something that we have or can do will stand you and other African nations in good stead, just tell us, we will definitely do it,” he noted.
“You must know that you are not strangers to us, Belarusians, Russians. Indeed, we have a history of cooperation that started back in the Soviet Union. Since you are not strangers to us, we invite you to Belarus and we open our hearts to you,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo first thanked the Belarusian side for a warm welcome and hospitality. He also apologized for being forced to postpone his visit, planned earlier, due to changes in his working schedule.
“My visit to Belarus is evidence of my conviction that Belarus and the Belarusian people are a fraternal nation and a fraternal country for us,” Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo said.
According to him, during the visit he intends to discuss all the issues on the bilateral agenda and cooperation projects between Belarus and Equatorial Guinea.
The President is convinced that the agenda of the talks should also include discussion of topical international issues. “We do not forget that the Soviet Union and its member countries played a great role in liberating the African continent from colonial dependence and continue to do so [contributing to the liberation from neocolonial dependence],” Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo emphasized.
He said: “We are getting close to celebrating the 100th anniversary of acquisition of independence by a number of African states. At the same time we understand that they acquired kind of nominal independence. We continue to remain victims of neocolonialism. We still feel the pressure of the countries that try to carry on this policy. If extreme poverty still exists on the African continent, it means that imperial neocolonial forces continue exploiting our countries, taking natural resources from us and sucking everything that could invigorate us out of us.”
Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo stressed that representatives of Equatorial Guinea and other countries had repeatedly mentioned all of these problems and situations within the framework of the United Nations Organization, however, as the practice shows, nothing has changed.
After negotiations with smaller delegations the Belarusian head of state mentioned the openness of the sides and their readiness to discuss a broad range of matters.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It is obvious that Africa is going through kind of a renaissance. Africa is becoming the key to the planet’s sustainable development in the 21st century before our very eyes.”
In his words, the joint peacemaking mission of leaders of the African Union countries to Ukraine and Russia, Africa’s active role in BRICS and the Non-Aligned Movement vividly testify to it.
The Belarusian head of state said: “African countries are resolved to escape the diktat of Western transnational corporations, which see them only as mere suppliers of raw materials, extract oil, gold, and natural gas from them, and doom the peoples of Africa to wretched existence and hunger.”
“Unlike Western ‘democratizers’ Belarus is ready to help you be the masters of your land for the benefit of your own people by creating national manufacturing sector, modernizing agriculture, developing science and technologies. Working within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, together with Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union, we offer your country access to unique technologies, goods, and services,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
He remarked that for three decades Belarus has been dealing with the pressure of the West and is categorically opposed to any attempts at pressure. “Belarusians do not have colonial habits and do not try to impose anything on anyone. Minsk speaks in favor of a just, multipolar world and we go to Africa as friends. Our machines, vehicles, and technologies are known well on your continent. Many medics and engineers of yours have been trained in Belarusian universities. This is why we should not have any particular difficulties with establishing the dialogue. I am convinced we will not have,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stated.
The head of state stressed that independence and sovereignty of a country primarily stem from a strong economy while Belarus has experience and accomplishments to become an active participant of the social and economic flourishing of Africa and Africa’s final liberation from the yoke of former colonial powers.
As for Equatorial Guinea, Belarus is ready to help with the country’s industrialization, modernization of agriculture, with ensuring food security, with deliveries of a broad range of machines, vehicles, and equipment, other industrial and food products.
“We also have good competences in the construction of modern meat, dairy complexes and other processing complexes, in surveying and extracting natural resources, in realizing joint infrastructure projects. The humanitarian sphere offers a lot of opportunities for cooperation to us: science, culture, education, and tourism. Belarusian healthcare organizations can offer medical aid of the highest quality to your citizens. We can help you with medical personnel in order to train your citizens in the field of healthcare, education, and humanitarian areas. You know our accomplishments in the field of healthcare,” the head of state recounted promising avenues of cooperation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that the joint work of business circles and the national chambers of commerce and industry should become the key link for establishing and forming new stable business ties.
The President said: “The creation of a joint commission will be an important step for promoting all-round cooperation as a result of your visit. I suggest we should instruct the ministers of foreign affairs to organize the first session of the commission as soon as possible as co-chairpersons of the joint commission and determine concrete plans and projects, including by relying on our agreements. We are open to a dialogue about all the matters you are interested in. We are ready to discuss in detail any avenues of interaction and to fill it with real practical content.”
After the talks with the President of Equatorial Guinea Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We welcome peaceful initiatives of African heads of state to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. We are in solidarity with the need to end deaths and suffering of people as soon as possible.”
“We expect to achieve a consistent growth in bilateral trade. The target for 2030 is over $100 million,” the head of state said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the first highest-level visit from Equatorial Guinea has revealed a joint interest in intensifying and deepening bilateral cooperation: “A candid, friendly and constructive conversation has showed that our assessments of the situation in the region and the world completely coincide.”
“Belarus and Equatorial Guinea see no alternatives to a fair multi-polar world where all issues are resolved at the negotiating table through a candid, respectful and equal dialogue. Despite the pressure and resistance of a number of major global players, the voice of Africa calling for such a world order sounds with a greater force. We see that the states of the African continent are growing more determined in their pursuit of an independent, sovereign, peace-loving policy, they are not looking back at the so-called ‘golden billion’ countries,” the President said.
Minsk has been consistently supporting this aspiration for many years, the head of state noted. Visits to Zimbabwe, top-level contacts with Egypt, plans to work with Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and a number of other states are a testimony to this.
“We are set to keep deepening contacts with African countries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state emphasized that the interest of Belarus and Equatorial Guinea in each other is enormous. “The current situation in the world is pushing for more active interaction. I have already told my counterpart and friend that they will not leave in peace Equatorial Guinea, a relatively small country blessed with a great number of resources. The President agreed with me,” he said.
The Belarusian leader believes that in the modern world one must be strong to be able to protect their country and its interests.
Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced that the parties will soon conclude new contracts and put millions of dollars into the treasury of relations.
“I am sure that with your personal support, Belarus and Equatorial Guinea will soon make progress equipment supplies, agricultural industry modernization, and food security. We are ready to work together with you to achieve these targets. Moreover, we do not only offer you our products, we are also ready to buy products from your country. We need to cooperate, create joint ventures in your country and our country that will produce these goods. We need to go for deeper cooperation. We are ready for this. We can train your specialists to work at technologically advanced enterprises in Equatorial Guinea,” the head of state said addressing the President of Equatorial Guinea.
There are plans to expand partnerships in the petrochemical sector and the mining industry, in education and personnel training, and healthcare, and to promote interpersonal contacts.
Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked his counterpart for a truly friendly and constructive approach to cooperation: “I am convinced that you will appreciate the Belarusian kindness and hospitality and become an even greater friend of Belarus. We have a lot of work ahead and our efforts will certainly pay off very quickly for the benefit of the peoples of our countries.”
A number of international documents were signed following the talks between Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo in Minsk.
The documents included an intergovernmental framework agreement on economic, trade, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation, an agreement on visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic and service passports. The parties also signed agreements on cooperation in healthcare and education, a memorandum of understanding between the specialized agencies of the two countries on cooperation in agriculture.
An agreement was also signed between the Culture Ministry of Belarus and the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Craft Promotion of Equatorial Guinea.
“Today we have laid the groundwork for the future,” the Belarusian head of state assessed the meeting. “We have identified promising areas and directions of partnership development. We have agreed on practical steps to implement the agreements reached, agreed on exchange visits, outlined the legal framework, and set up a joint commission on economic cooperation.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the participants of the signing ceremony not to delay the implementation of the agreements reached.