MINSK, 21 February (BelTA) – Cooperation between Belarus and Abkhazia was discussed at the meeting between Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhaniya in Minsk, BelTA informs.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus has always been interested in cooperation with Abkhazia. Cooperation was discussed, among other things, during the meeting of the Belarusian leader with Aslan Bzhaniya in Abkhazia in September 2022. “One thought keeps haunting me: why does the leadership of Georgia blow our meetings out of proportion? Can't peoples, nations have normal, cordial and friendly relations? Maybe these relations will be able to promote peace and friendship between Abkhazian and Georgian peoples. After all, we never planned any action against Tbilisi,” the president of Belarus said.
He noted that he is keeping track of developments in Georgia, including the situation around former president Mikheil Saakashvili. “Somehow it doesn't look good because he once was a president after all. Therefore, it's simply inappropriate to go that far. But why am I saying this? We didn't give any assessments, we did not interfere in this situation and other developments. We have maintained very good relations, as much as it is possible, with Tbilisi. Why do they overreact? ... I think you will help me find an answer to this question,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
As for cooperation with Abkhazia, the president stressed that the current meeting is very important in a human way. "Our relations must develop. The Abkhaz people respect the Belarusians. The Belarusians share a likewise attitude. We have something to build our relations on. There are products that we are interested in. Tourism holds a lot of promise too. Especially after they began to impose various kinds of sanctions against us. Our people want to go to the seaside. So I looked at your coast. We used to holiday there. Sukhumi, Batumi, Tbilisi and so on. Our people still visit these cities. But somehow Abkhazia has been cut off. Not unpopular, but cut off. Meanwhile the demand is very high," the president said.
"Why shouldn't we visit each other? I ask myself this question, I cannot understand why they need to aggravate the relations. On the contrary, we must stick together. We are not giant states to divide other countries and peoples. We need to be closer to each other in this difficult time. Tbilisi, and Sukhumi, and Minsk. We should work to find ways to each other, strive for each other. This is how I view your visit to Belarus and I thank you again for fulfilling your promise and visiting us," the Belarusian leader added.
For his part, Aslan Bzhaniya thanked the Belarusian head of state for the invitation and consistency. "You know, many people will listen to what you say today, including in Georgia, and I think that your wise words will reach the hearts of these people," he said.