MINSK, 22 September (BelTA) – Belarus and the United States have signed an intergovernmental agreement on the protection and preservation of certain cultural properties, BelTA learnt from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The signing ceremony took place on 21 September during the visit of Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei to New York. Partaking in the event were representatives of the World Jewish Congress and the United States Department of State.
The agreement was signed by Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei and Chairperson of the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad Lesley Weiss.
The Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs stressed in his speech at the ceremony that the agreement creates a robust legal framework for intergovernmental cooperation between Belarus and the United States in the protection and preservation of cultural properties. This, first of all, pertains to the fact that many famous Americans have Belarusian roots and many Belarusians have left their mark in the American history.
According to Vladimir Makei, the agreement testifies to the improving political relations between Belarus and the United States, as the two countries have not concluded any intergovernmental agreements for the past two decades.
The signing of the agreement was hailed by the participants of the ceremony. U.S. representatives emphasized the importance of joint work between the governments of the United States and Belarus on the implementation of the agreement.
Agreements were also reached with representatives of the Jewish community to continue contacts, first of all, in the trade and economic sector.
The U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad is an agency of the Government of the United States of America. The major goal of the Commission is to identify and report on cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe that are associated with the heritage of U.S. citizens, and obtain, in cooperation with the Department of State, assurances from the governments of the region that the properties will be protected and preserved. Belarus became the 25th country to sign the agreement on the protection and preservation of certain cultural properties with the U.S. Commission. Members of the Commission are appointed by the U.S. President.