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Belarus calls for European countries to stand together against challenges

Politics 13.12.2016 | 14:04
Andrei Kobyakov
Andrei Kobyakov

SARAJEVO, 13 December (BelTA) – The existing challenges in Europe can be countered effectively only through concerted efforts, dialogue and cooperation between all the European countries. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement during the meeting of the heads of government of the Central European Initiative (CEI) member states in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina on 13 December, BelTA has learned.

Andrei Kobyakov remarked that the organization of the meeting of representatives of the CEI member states in the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina had special significance. “It is a vivid testimony of the inestimable value of peaceful life after all the immeasurable suffering and grief the people here have witnessed. It underscores the inescapable need to work together despite all our differences on the basis of mutual respect,” stated the Prime Minister of Belarus. “It makes us remember that we are jointly responsible for a better future of Europe and our region, for ensuring social stability and sustainable development in all our countries through genuine cooperation.”

According to the Belarusian head of government, the reminder is particularly important now when Europe faces a number of most serious challenges such as the ongoing migration crisis, the radicalization of the society, and new security threats. In combination with complex economic difficulties these changes cannot be stopped by borders and represent an unprecedented threat to European integration processes.

“In the last 25 years Europe made a quantum leap from divided Europe after the end of the Cold War to political and economic integration,” added the Prime Minister. “It provided undoubtable benefits for all us thanks to simpler trade and mobility, stronger transboundary cooperation and good neighborly relations.”

Yet the accomplishments should not be viewed as something that will last forever. They remain exceedingly fragile, stressed Andrei Kobyakov. “They are subjected to ever stronger durability tests. Concerted actions, dialogue and cooperation between all the European countries remain the only way to effectively counteract the challenges and prevent the emergence of new dividing lines in Europe,” Andrei Kobyakov is convinced.

In this context the Central European Initiative remains particularly necessary as a serious platform for such dialogue and interaction.

The Central European Initiative is a regional association that comprises 18 countries. Those are Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Czechia, Montenegro, and Ukraine. Belarus joined the Central European Initiative in June 1996. The Central European Initiative is an important forum for developing interaction between countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe in matters concerning transboundary cooperation, power engineering, transport, science and technologies, education, culture, small and medium business, agriculture, environmental protection and other things. Bosnia and Herzegovina presides over the Central European Initiative in 2016. Belarus will take over the presidency in 2017.

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