MINSK, 22 June (BelTA) – Belarus' presidency in the Central European Initiative (CEI) is aimed at consolidating the region in the face of new challenges, Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said at the plenary session during the meeting of the CEI ministers of foreign affairs on 22 June, BelTA has learned.
“The today's event has a special character for Belarus which has been honored with the presidency in the Central European Initiative for the first time. We would like our presidency in the CEI to make a maximum contribution to the consolidation of the region in the face of new challenges,” the minister said. Among them are the existing migration crisis and the artificial antagonism of integration models.
According to Vladimir Makei, today it is especially obvious that the only possibility to cope with these challenges is to harmonize efforts of all European countries. “There is no place for selective dialogue when “not enough European partners” are pushed aside or just ignored,” he said.
According to the minister, the countries are now approaching the point when peace and security in the region are at stake. “If we do not start acting right now, we risk to appear in the deadlock of new dividing lines which become a bitter alternative to open confrontation. It is time to acknowledge that there is no single pattern of political integration for all in Europe. There is no doubt that European countries should be committed to common democratic values, supremacy of law and observation of human rights. At the same time, there are no universal quick-fix recipes of democracy. Many of our countries are rather young, they have different historical experience and traditions of statehood. It is hard to imagine the society which can be transformed overnight on the basis of political aspirations of its elite. It is exactly the opposite – inflated expectations cause political instability and give opposite results. Full-fledged transformations need time, patience and trust,” he concluded.
Vladimir Makei remarked that it is needed to continue the process of reforming the CEI in order to adapt the organization to the changes in the region. “Having started last year under the aegis of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this undertaking is extremely important for the renovation of the key activities of the CEI. It also aims to promote the development of a new plan of action of the CEI for 2018-2020. We hope that if all the opinions of the member states are taken into account this process can result in concrete solutions which can be adopted during crucial high-level events under the aegis of the CEI in 2017,” he concluded.