MINSK, 18 February (BelTA) – The time is ripe for direct contacts between the parliaments of Belarus and the USA, Chairman of the Standing Commission on International Affairs of the House of Representatives Andrei Savinykh said as he met with members of the Secretariat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. Congress, BelTA has learned.
“Minsk and Washington actively collaborate in the areas of mutual interest. Cooperation in security matters involves, first of all, fight against crime, human trafficking, terrorism, as well as handling of radioactive materials. A dialog in the military field was also resumed, so was cooperation in healthcare, agriculture and professional exchanges. Against the backdrop of the progress made, the time is ripe for direct contacts between the parliaments,” Andrei Savinykh said.
In his words, the ongoing meeting will allow discussing possible visits, contacts and joint events between the Belarusian parliament and the U.S. Congress. “We would like to know your opinion on a possible format of such events. An agenda is also of great importance. I am convinced that these contacts will help us understand each other better, identify new areas of common interest and explore possibilities for mutual cooperation,” Andrei Savinykh said.
Staff Director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the United States Congress Christopher Socha upheld the idea about parliamentary exchanges. We are glad to come to Minsk after the Munich Security Conference. I hope this will be a continuation of the high-level visits on the part of the USA, which will help deepen contacts and redefine relations in the interests of the two countries. Yesterday's meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that it is important to fine-tune an information flow between Belarusian authorities and the U.S. Congress. If you could share with us information about your achievements, progress and successes in implementing the reforms you are working on, this could make such exchanges on the part of the Congress more open, he said.
The U.S. Congress views this visit as very important. “We are here on behalf of the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He wanted us to come here to see how we can help improve the relations. For the short time that we have been here we have seen encouraging things. We have learned about the successes of the Belarusian economy in information technologies. We have also learned about close collaboration in security matters and fight against terrorism. I think it is important to find new areas of common interest,” Christopher Socha said.