Meeting with senior officials of government, Belarus President Administration

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On 27 November, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko hosted a government conference in the Palace of Independence to discuss two major blocks of issues.

Attending the event were the prime minister, the Belarus President Administration head, vice premiers and the minister of foreign affairs.

The first block of issues covered the international agenda, including forthcoming meetings and talks.

“The topic of our today’s conversation is international meetings and talks. You know that the year was tense, especially its summer and autumn period. We had to postpone a number of visits to a later period, winter. Therefore, there are going to be quite many of them in general,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the development of cooperation with the countries of the African continent, including Equatorial Guinea and Zimbabwe. “We have agreed to visit a number of countries,” he said. “I think that at the World Climate Summit which is soon to take place in Dubai, I will have a chance to meet with the presidents of individual African states and agree with them on talks and, if necessary, visits to African countries.”

The President emphasized: “All of you should understand that this is a far-distance area of our cooperation, but that does not mean that those are distant countries for us.” “With some of them we have good relations, including trade and economic ones. This is first of all Zimbabwe, and through Zimbabwe, other neighboring states,” the head of state explained.

According to him, Mozambique is showing interest in cooperation. “We agreed during the talks with the President of Zimbabwe [Emmerson Mnangagwa] that we need to involve Mozambique. They asked us to repeat Zimbabwe's experience in Mozambique. I mean food products, baby food, healthcare. They asked for our help, the technologies we have in certain sectors,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also mentioned cooperation with Equatorial Guinea. “They are waiting for us. We have done a lot of work on cooperation with this country in terms of working out a concrete plan, a roadmap. How are things going here so far? the Belarusian leader asked. “The President [Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo] and I are likely to meet in the Emirates and discuss my future visit there. I would like to hear how the preparations of the visit going.”

Cooperation with Equatorial Guinea also means prospects of interaction with its neighboring states. “As the President asked me, we could provide some support and assistance to the neighboring states, primarily in technology,” the Belarusian head of state said.

“Since I will be meeting with these heads of state in the Emirates, we will also discuss all the issues related to the United Arab Emirates,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president asked to report on the trade and economic cooperation with China: “It is a very important country for us. There are a lot of issues that the government was to deal with in relations with the People's Republic of China. What were the plans? What have been done and what haven’t?”

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that the Belarusian prime minister had scheduled meetings in Asia. “In this regard, I would like to hear about the progress made in the main issues of our cooperation with Tьrkiye. How is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working here. As far as I am informed, Tьrkiye is ready for negotiations, including your, Roman Aleksandrovich [Golovchenko],visit to Tьrkiye. My visit there is also being prepared. But before I go there, it would be great to have some preparations made in advance,” the president said.

The second block featured issues of the domestic agenda, primarily the country’s economic performance.

The head of state instructed the government officials to pay special attention to providing people in small settlements with the necessary range of food products, including taking into account the upcoming New Year and Christmas holidays. “I would like to warn the government that we need to ensure a normal situation ahead of the New Year and Christmas holidays. There should be no problems with food supplies across the country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “We do not lack anything. We have enough of everything. This just depends on our management skills, especially for supplying small towns, agro-towns and villages. These are our people. They are not rich. They must be provided with everything necessary. Holidays should be not only for bosses, residents of Minsk and big cities. Everyone should feel the festive mood.”

The head of state explained that he had recently received a big number of complaints. “I understand that there are all sorts of circumstances. But there are a lot of people who complain about the provision of basic necessities. There is no smoke without fire,” the Belarusian leader said.

In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko warned the participants of the meeting, and first of all Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats, who is responsible for the agro-industrial complex: “You are too busy with all kinds of violations in the dairy industry. You need to take care of our farmers first. You are in charge of not only [the Belarusian National Union of Consumer Societies] Belkoopsoyuz, but also of agriculture in general. These issues are also within your competence.”

“I am also talking about other issues, on which the President's instructions have been given. Igor Sergeyenko [head of the Belarus President Administration] will report on each instruction, and you will report on the progress in the implementation of these issues," the head of state added.