MINSK, 3 October (BelTA) – The political dialogue between Belarus and Germany has entered a qualitatively new level, Belarus' Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Oleg Kravchenko said at a function held on 3 October to celebrate the Day of German Unity, BelTA has learned.
“From the very first days of Belarus' independence, we have considered the united Germany as one of the most important foreign partners for our country. I am happy to say that the Belarusian-German relations have not just strengthened over the past year. The political dialogue between our countries entered a qualitatively new level,” said Oleg Kravchenko.
The deputy minister emphasized the recent milestone event for Belarus, which was the visit of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Belarus on 29 June 2018, the first one in the history of Belarus-Germany relations. “The German leader held fruitful talks with the Belarusian president, during which the parties reached a number of agreements. He also took part in the opening ceremony of the second stage of the Trostenets Memorial. The German president's speech at the site of the killing of tens of thousands of innocent victims of Nazism from Belarus and other European countries confirmed the responsible attitude of today's Germany to preserving the memory of the tragic events of World War Two and the country's readiness to do everything possible to make the lessons of this war stay as a guarantee of peace and security today and in the future. This visit made an important contribution to the cause of historical reconciliation between the peoples of our countries and gave a serious impetus to the development of bilateral relations in various areas,” Oleg Kravchenko said.
He also talked about the visit of Vice-Chancellor, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Sigmar Gabriel to Belarus in November 2017. The German official met with the president of Belarus and spoke at the Minsk Forum.
“We are happy with the successful development of bilateral contacts between the parliaments of our countries, efficient interaction between the ministries of foreign affairs, and the increase in the number of visits and information trips at various levels and in various areas,” the Belarusian deputy minister of foreign affairs said. “More German organizations express interest in cooperation with our country. This year we have intensified interaction with the Munich Security Conference and we are currently gearing up for a big joint event. Extensive cooperation continues with German political foundations,” he said.
Belarus and Germany closely cooperate within international organizations. “Our countries are united in commitment to support security, peace and stability in the region,” Oleg Kravchenko said.
He drew attention to the vibrant bilateral economic cooperation. The two states have been gradually increasing mutual trade in goods and services. Germany has significantly increased its investment in the Belarusian economy.
Big German companies have set up their manufacturing facilities in Belarus, including in the China-Belarus industrial park Great Stone. Germany's Duisport made part of the group of founders of the Industrial Park Development Company.
Oleg Kravchenko stated that public diplomacy is invaluable for the development of Belarusian-German relations. This includes twinning relations, hundreds of humanitarian and Chernobyl initiatives, cultural, educational, and youth exchanges, and the implementation of numerous joint projects, including those aimed at preserving the historical memory of the World War Two tragedy.
“The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to promote the expansion of such extremely important ties,” the deputy minister said. He expressed special thanks to German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Belarus Peter Dettmar for successful and productive cooperation and his prominent role in the positive trends of Belarusian-German cooperation.
Peter Dettmar, in turn, noted the importance of the Day of German Unity for the people of the country. “We are one nation, Germans say today,” the diplomat stressed. Speaking about the Belarusian-German cooperation, he took note of the diversity of these relations. The ambassador also drew attention to the exceptional importance of the first visit of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany to Belarus, which was held at the invitation of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
The ambassador also believes that preserving the memory of the lessons of the Second World War will always be of great importance. “It is necessary to know what happened in the past in order to understand what may take place in the future,” he noted. The diplomat also emphasized the importance of the issues of reconciliation and mutual understanding. “A happy common future in peace and security is of crucial significance,” Peter Dettmar said.