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01 March 2019, 17:58

Lukashenko gives details about meeting with presidents of Russia, Iran, Turkey in Sochi

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) – The Belarusian president gave the details about the meeting with the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey in Sochi as he met with community leaders, experts, Belarusian and foreign media in Minsk on 1 March, BelTA has learned.

As it was reported earlier, during a working visit to Russia on 14 February Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko took part in an informal meeting with the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The presidents met over tea in the Rus health resort in Sochi.

The working visit of the Belarusian president to Russia coincided with the tripartite summit on Syria. That was a good opportunity to discuss topical international issues in a wider format. Belarus has long-standing friendly political, economic, and humanitarian ties not only with Russia but also with Turkey and Iran. Having the status of the peacekeeping venue, Belarus has always advocated the need for early resolution of local conflicts in the world, for action against terrorism.

Alexander Lukashenko said that Russian President Vladimir Putin invited him to take part in the meeting on the eve of the event to discuss humanitarian issues, to exchange views. The head of state said he was having doubts at first but later accepted the offer.

“It was very useful. The discussion lasted for more than an hour. I listened to their opinions, positions. It is very important. We had a good and warm conversation. There was no talk about our participation in the Syrian events, conflicts in any form,” the president assured. He stressed that in accordance with the Constitution Belarus cannot send its armed forces abroad.

Alexander Lukashenko said that he is on good terms with Syria President Bashar al-Assad. “He told us they want us to work in Syria as they are rebuilding the country. There is much interest in it,” the president said. “Bashar al-Assad has always been positive about Belarus' working there. But I do not want to get involved in the Syrian affairs along with Iranians, Americans, Turks and Russians, even proceeding from the assumption that the army should have its training. I am afraid of speaking about it. I will never embark on secret negotiations on sending a contingent to the region. It is absolutely unnecessary, we don't need it and should not do it,” the head of state said.

The president also spoke about other events in Sochi, including a friendly ice hockey game with the participation of the two presidents. “We scored many goals honestly. Nobody was going easy, we just played against much weaker players. That thumping defeat, 16:1, was an objective one,” Alexander Lukashenko concluded.

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