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Belarus seeks to increase trade with Syria

Economy 22.07.2019 | 16:38
Sergei Rumas
Sergei Rumas

MINSK, 22 July (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in increasing trade with Syria, Belarus' Prime Minister Sergei Rumas said as he met with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Syria Walid Al Muallem on 22 July, BelTA has learned.

“We view your visit as an important milestone for the development of traditionally friendly relations with Syria. We, in Belarus, do not stay indifferent to what is going on in your country. We are closely watching every development in your country. Syria is our main trading partner in the Middle East. Belarus is interested in restoring the level of trade we had before the armed conflict in Syria. We are confident that your visit will help further mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between our countries,” Sergei Rumas said.

Walid Al Muallem stressed that Syria is also interested in restoring the relations it had with Belarus before the crisis in Syria. He emphasized the need to expand bilateral cooperation.

Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Syria were established on 26 August 1993. The legal framework of bilateral relations includes more than 30 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental agreements. In 2018, Belarus-Syria trade totaled $41.1 million. The Belarusian export made up $37.7 million. In January-May 2019, the mutual trade reached $16.1 million (the Belarusian export - $12.6 million).

Belarus provides humanitarian aid to Syria. In 2015-2019, Syria received four batches of humanitarian assistance that included baby food, food products, medications, medical equipment, blankets, children's clothes and footwear, and also MAZ vehicles to restore the national economy of Syria. Special attention is paid to the organization of recuperation holidays for Syrian children in Belarus. In 2017-2019, more than 1,000 Syrian children visited Belarus.

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