MINSK, 21 November (BelTA) – Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs will lead the Belarusian delegation at the Eastern Partnership (EaP) summit in Brussels on 24 November, Deputy Head of the Information Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andrei Shuplyak told BelTA.
According to the representative of the Foreign Ministry, Belarus has gratefully accepted the invitation to attend the summit at the level of the heads of state, which attests to Belarus' improved relations with the EU and which heralds the transition, after a long period of disagreement, towards a new state of interaction with the EU as a very important neighbor and partner in addressing the international security issues in the European region and in expanding trade and investment cooperation between the EU countries and Belarus. "In the diplomatic practice, a highest-level visit is usually the culmination of the mutual efforts of the parties to develop cooperation marking the achievement of profound systemic results important for the bilateral interaction between the relevant subjects of international relations. Minsk and Brussels, with the active participation of the other EU member states, have been working together to develop equal and mutually beneficial relations, discuss the full range of issues of cooperation within the framework of the Belarus-EU Coordination Group, maintain a dialogue in trade and the Belarusian-European dialogue on human rights, and continue to coordinate partnership priorities,” he said.
“Minsk is interested in removing all the EU restrictions in the relations with Belarus. The agenda of the Belarusian-European cooperation will include negotiations on the conclusion of a framework agreement on partnership and cooperation. Belarus is interested in the EU's Eastern Partnership, which should become evidently beneficial for the citizens of Belarus and the EU, simplify doing business conditions, promote contacts between people and communication in various areas, and increase the level of objective knowledge about each other,” said Andrei Shuplyak.
According to him, at present the EU's Eastern Partnership is a format of cooperation, in which the partner countries seek recognition of the European perspective. “Belarus does not set such a goal but is in favor of the development of the EU's Eastern Partnership as an instrument for promoting non-politicized cooperation aimed against no one but at solving the common problems and issues facing the peoples and states of our region. Being the venue for meetings of the trilateral contact group on Ukraine, having put forward the initiatives to align the European and Eurasian economic integration processes and launch a broad dialogue on overcoming the existing contradictions in the relations between states in our common space - in the Euro-Atlantic Region and Eurasia, Belarus would like to view the EU's Eastern Partnership summit as the most depoliticized event that contributes to the removal of disconnection factors in greater Europe,” the representative of the ministry said.
“It is these goals, namely the further development of relations between Belarus and the EU, the pragmatic strengthening of the EU's Eastern Partnership and the adoption of measures that do not deepen contradictions but contribute to the relaxation of tensions in our common region that are at the heart of our position at the Eastern Partnership summit,” said Andrei Shuplyak.