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Belarus, France to intensify interparliamentary cooperation

Politics 16.11.2018 | 09:02
Mikhail Myasnikovich (in the center). Photo courtesy of the Council of the Republic.
Mikhail Myasnikovich (in the center). Photo courtesy of the Council of the Republic.

MINSK, 16 November (BelTA) – Belarus-France interparliamentary contacts will be ramped up at the level of top officials of the French Senate and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, and at the level of bilateral interparliamentary groups, BelTA learned from the press service of the upper house of the Belarusian parliament.

The agreement to step up interparliamentary contacts was reached during the visit of Chairman of the Council of the Republic Mikhail Myasnikovich to Paris. During talks in Paris a positive assessment was given to the work of 63 French and French-Belarusian companies, including industry giants like Renault, Lactalis, and Danone. President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher pointed out that “Belarus is famous for its manufacturing industry, information technology, engineering solutions and qualified workforce”. The parties agreed that despite the increase in bilateral trade up to $366 million in 2017, Belarus-France trade and economic cooperation lags behind the capacities of the two countries.

“Therefore, the upper houses of the parliaments should focus on facilitating economic cooperation, in particular, in the food industry and agriculture, and on raising French investment into economic projects in Belarus, including by means of setting up joint ventures,” the press service informed.

Mikhail Myasnikovich and Gerard Larcher welcomed establishment of friendship groups at the Council of the Republic and the French Senate in 2018, for the first time in the history of bilateral relations. The meeting between the heads of the upper houses of the parliaments of Belarus and France was also held for the first time since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. According to the speakers, this attests to determination of Belarus and France to give a new impetus to bilateral relations. “These milestone events are designed to strengthen our cooperation in various areas,” the head of the Council of the Republic said. He informed his French counterpart on the situation in Belarus and answered his questions about foreign and domestic policy of the country.

Apart from that, they discussed ways to expand bilateral contacts and interaction with international organizations, including the Council of Europe, European Commission and their structures. The Belarusian speaker signed a distinguished visitors' book of the French Senate. According to the press service, the Council of the Republic invited President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher to return a visit to Belarus.

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