MINSK, 12 September (BelTA) - The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an important dialogue platform for Belarus with its traditional friends and key partners, Belarusian First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik told BelTA in the run-up to the SCO summit which is set to take place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 15-16 September.
“Belarus has a strategic nature of relations with Russia and China. Together with Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, it is part of the EAEU and participates in China's Belt and Road initiative. Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are our important trade and economic partners in the CIS. Relations with India and Pakistan are vibrant, too,” the first deputy minister of foreign affairs said.
“Belarus has been a member of the SCO since 2010, initially as a dialogue partner and as an observer since 2015. Our country is systematically present in the political and diplomatic, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian dimensions, and puts forward its initiatives. Famous French writer, philosopher and moralist of the 17th century Jean de La Bruyere once said: “No road is too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; and no honors are too distant for the man who prepares himself for them with patience.” During this time we have accumulated enough experience in the organization,” said Sergei Aleinik.
In his words, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has been regularly attending the meetings of the SCO Heads of State Council since 2016 and has put forward initiatives that have found support among the member states. At different times, Belarus made specific proposals to ensure food security within the SCO, to set up the specialized exposition Agro-SCO at the International Agricultural Forum Belagro, to strengthen nuclear safety and the peaceful use of the atom. Our initiatives to match the development strategies of the organization's countries, develop cooperation in healthcare, transport, renewable energy, use of national currencies in trade and finance, and combat cyber threats received a wide response.
The first deputy minister of foreign affairs stated that Belarus is interested in the development of the common transport space of the SCO, international road transport, the coordinated development of roads and rail transport, which will promote participation in multimodal transport, the formation of a favorable network of transport infrastructure and the realization of transit potential. Since 11 November 2018, Belarus has been a party to the agreement between the governments of SCO member states to create favorable conditions for international road transport.
“With the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat was one of the first to distribute information about vaccines produced, which allowed us to quickly orient ourselves in that challenging environment. The Chinese Committee for Good Neighborhood, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO donated several thousand PCR tests and necessary reagents to Belarus,” said Sergei Aleinik.