MINSK, 28 October (BelTA) - Belarus has great potential to fulfill its duties as the CEI president in 2017, CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loeffler said following the consultations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BelTA has learned.
Margot Klestil-Loeffler noted that Belarus has been an active member of the CEI for over 20 years. She believes that the decision by the country's leadership to assume the presidency next year was important. “This decision is very important both politically and from a strategic point of view, since it opens up many new opportunities for the development of cooperation. Belarus has great potential to fulfill its CEI presidency duties in 2017,” she said.
According to Margot Klestil-Loeffler, this will also add another, Eurasian vector, to the organization through Belarus' membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. “The Central European Initiative is known as an organization that acts as a bridge between different integration processes, and Belarus' presidency will highlight this role,” the CEI Alternate Secretary General said.
The Central European Initiative (CEI) is a regional association created by Italy, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia in 1989. Today the organization consists of 18 states (Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro and Ukraine). Belarus joined the CEI in 1996.