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22 June 2017, 11:19

Lukashenko calls on CEI countries to build bridges between integration associations

MINSK, 22 June (BelTA) – The member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) should join efforts to build bridges between various integration associations on the continent, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs and heads of national delegations of the member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) on 22 June, BelTA has learned.

“The existing realities are as follows: countries located between Europe and Asia should take on more responsibility in ensuring regional stability. Besides, these efforts do not require big financing. It largely depends on us if our countries will become a dividing line between the world centers of power or a link between them. Now it is not needed to erect new iron curtains, it is essential to join efforts to build bridges between various integration associations on the continent,” Alexander Lukashenko is convinced.

Only with the help of equal dialogue and comprehensive economic cooperation we can create a truly Wider Europe guaranteeing peace, security and prosperity for our descendants, the head of state said. “The Central European Initiative should be aimed at resolving this complicated task,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

The president remarked that since the very first days of its existence the organization had been committed to developing mutually beneficial economic ties between European countries after the Cold War. Over a quarter of a century the CEI has proven to be a good venue for dialogue on a wide range of issues. First of all, this pertains to such fields as transport, energy sector, regional development, science and technology. A lot is being done for education and culture.

“At present this organization unites countries partaking in various integration associations and formats. We must use this factor in full. That is why Belarus' presidency is aimed at promoting connectivity in a Wider Europe,” Alexander Lukashenko explained. “Being at the crossroads of Eurasia, our countries face similar difficulties in their social and economic development. At the same time, it opens up big opportunities for the expansion of trade and enhancement of ties in other areas.”

According to the head of state, Belarus' presidency should give momentum to the extensive discussion of issues which should be resolved for the full realization of the economic potential of countries in the region. “These include the synchronization of plans to expand the transport infrastructure, the harmonization of standards and procedures for accelerating trade flows, the development of logistic services. I would like this meeting in Minsk to help us address such issues,” he said.

The Belarusian leader called on the particulars of the meeting to promote sincere and open dialogue and stressed that he is ready to listen to all the proposals and concerns.

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