MINSK, 19 November (BelTA) - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has agreed that Belarus is neither the source nor the cause of refugee flows as he met with Belarus' Permanent Representative to the UN Valentin Rybakov in New York, BelTA has learned.
“During the talks he agreed that Belarus is neither the source nor the cause of the flows of migrants transiting through Belarus to the European countries. He stressed that he was well aware of the situation when migrants going to Western Europe did not consider transit states as their destination countries. In this particular case they do not want stay in Belarus, and even in Poland, never mind Lithuania. Their only goal is to reach Germany in the first place. He personally witnessed this situation many times in his previous position [UN High Commissioner for Refugees],” said the Belarusian diplomat.
The UN secretary general received a personal letter from Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei about the situation with refugees and other relevant and objective information in this regard. “The UN secretary general thanked Belarus for the explanation of the official position and the information transmitted. He noted that he would study all the presented materials and would closely monitor the situation,” said Valentin Rybakov.
According to him, the UN secretary general also confirmed the active involvement of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organization for Migration in the work to resolve the crisis and transfer humanitarian aid.
The parties agreed to maintain direct personal contacts, and also contacts with the UN Secretariat and the UN press service in order to provide additional updates on the situation. “We agreed that we will share our vision, understanding of the situation and information with the secretary general and all UN agencies. At the end of the meeting the UN secretary general asked to send his warm greetings to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. We have agreed to maintain contacts in the future. We will report fully, objectively and impartially and tell the secretary general about the events that will take place,” the Belarusian diplomat said.