MINSK, 12 January (BelTA) - The relations between Belarus and India are developing on the principles of equality, trust and respect, Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Vladimir Andreichenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of India to Belarus Alok Ranjan Jha on 12 January, BelTA has learned.
“We highly respect the friendly ties with India and consider the development of our cooperation as one of the priorities of Belarus' foreign policy in Asia. Today, India is a powerful modern state with a developed economy, a large market, large scientific and industrial potential. Our relations are developing on the principles of equality, trust and respect,” said Vladimir Andreichenko.
In his words, MPs make an important contribution to the development of bilateral relations. “In 2013-2018 chairpersons of the House of the People of India paid visits to Belarus, and an agreement on cooperation was signed between the House of Representatives and the House of the People. We would be pleased to welcome a high-level parliamentary delegation during your work in Belarus as an ambassador. There are a lot of areas for MPs' work. Times are tough nowadays. We see the pressure on Belarus: political and economic sanctions. Therefore, MPs need to meet more often to discuss these issues and adjust our interaction. I believe that we, MPs, need to intensify work, first of all, in inter-parliamentary organizations, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the ASEAN Parliamentary Assembly. We are ready to take part in the BRICS parliamentary dimension,” the speaker said.
Vladimir Andreichenko emphasized the importance of introducing the practice of online meetings between the committees on international affairs in order to coordinate the positions of the two countries in international parliamentary organizations. “The House of Representatives has a working group on cooperation with the Indian Parliament. Unfortunately, such a friendship group has not yet been set up in the Indian Parliament. We hope that this issue will be resolved in the near future. We have to seriously work on increasing our interaction in building up the trade in goods, setting up joint ventures. The trade we have today, some $426 million, does not correspond to our capabilities. There are many other areas we must work on, such as education, culture, sport and tourism. We need to work on the development of contractual and legal framework. I wish you successful work in Belarus,” he added.
“Thank you for being so open about our relationship, especially with the focus on inter-parliamentary relations. I agree with everything you just said. A friendship group in the Indian Parliament has almost been set up. I will let you know when there is any news on the development of this matter,” the ambassador said.