MINSK, 13 June (BelTA) – Kazakhstan thinks highly of Belarus' role in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BelTA learned from Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belarus Yermukhamet Yertysbayev on 13 June.
The ambassador believes that the SCO would be completely impossible without Belarus and Kazakhstan despite the existence of such major powers as China, Russia, and other ones. The country has established tight cooperation with all the countries participating in the SCO. Belarus is also important for implementing China's Belt and Road initiative. Belarus also develops the Eurasian Economic Union together with Kazakhstan and Russia. Yermukhamet Yertysbayev underlined Belarus' great role in the union and spoke in positive terms about the union's future. “I am deeply convinced that post-Soviet countries as well as Turkey, Vietnam, and Iran are interested in the Eurasian Economic Union and would like to join it. This major integration association can compete in a good sense of the word both with the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),” the diplomat said.
Yermukhamet Yertysbayev is as optimistic about the future of Belarus-Kazakhstan relations. The task set by the leadership of the two countries to reach the trade turnover of $1 billion has been virtually fulfilled. The sides are close to the figure now. [Belarus-Kazakhstan trade was about $900 million in 2018.] Belarusian and Kazakh companies are intent on advancing cooperation.
The Kazakh ambassador took part in a meeting of experts at premises of the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (BISS). Prospects of bilateral cooperation were discussed and the agenda of the forthcoming SCO summit in Bishkek. Kazakhstan is an SCO member while Belarus is an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The experts also summed up results of the latest presidential election campaign in Kazakhstan. As many as 70.96% of the voters, who came to polling stations on the election day, 9 June, cast their votes in favor of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the candidate nominated by the political party Nur Otan. The Kazakh people chose stability, steady and predictable development of the country and confidence in tomorrow, Yermukhamet Yertysbayev stressed.
BelTA reported earlier that Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko arrived in Kyrgyzstan on 13 June for a two-day working visit. The head of state is expected to take part in a session of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Aleksandr Lukashenko is expected to make a speech during the council's expanded-participation session. Aleksandr Lukashenko will outline Belarus' stance on topical international matters and on the advancement of cooperation within the SCO framework.More about Politics