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25 February 2020, 11:10

FM: Belarus deepens ties with west remaining Russia's strategic ally

MINSK, 25 February (BelTA) – Staying committed to the fulfillment of the obligations to Russia as its strategic ally and main trading partner, Belarus continues to strengthen relations in the Euro-Atlantic space, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at a ministerial meeting to review the country's diplomatic service in 2019, BelTA has learned.

The minister named 2019 a year that was tense but brought about certain results. “We maintained the level of the diplomatic work and significantly increased its pace in some parts. We have increased the intensity and expanded the geography of foreign visits at the supreme and highest levels. Bilateral cooperation with our foreign partners has been steadily developing on all tracks. Staying committed to the unconditional fulfillment of all the obligations towards Russia, our strategic ally and main trading partner, Belarus continued to strengthen the positive trend towards normalization of relations on the Euro-Atlantic vector,” said Vladimir Makei.

Vladimir Makei emphasized significant progress in dialogue with the United States. The first visits of high-ranking officials of the U.S. Administration to Belarus over the past 25 years testify to the fact.

“In 2019, we also made our interaction with the European Union even more pragmatic, with a longer-term perspective. The political dialogue and bilateral cooperation with the CIS countries and Georgia remained traditionally intensive, where we continued to actively implement the already proven practice of strengthening inter-regional relations with the focus on the trade and economic sector,” the minister said.

In his words, Belarus consistently strengthened cooperation with the countries of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, including the strategic partnership with the People's Republic of China, which was facilitated by contacts and mutual visits at the supreme and highest levels with China, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria.

At the level of the head of state, Belarus proposed new important initiatives to create an atmosphere of trust, develop a new international dialogue on security (Helsinki 2), and shape a "success story of regional security" following the example of Belarus.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and foreign institutions continued the implementation of other Belarusian initiatives to promote partnership of integration, combat human trafficking, promote the interests of middle-income countries, support traditional families and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is worth mentioning that the most significant multilateral tasks and initiatives go beyond the purely ministerial framework and become a national cause. I am talking, for example, about the implementation of international commitments on sustainable development,” Vladimir Makei said.

According to the minister, Belarus has demonstrated and continues to demonstrate its potential in contributing to the effective work of integration associations, such as the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and also international organizations, primarily the UN and OSCE.

“An important vector of our efforts were also the issues related to visa facilitation, expansion of the legal framework of international cooperation, protection of legal rights and interests of Belarusian citizens abroad. In 2019, more than 3,000 of our citizens applied to Belarusian foreign institutions for various types of legal assistance,” the minister said.

Photos by Maksim Guchek

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