MINSK, 28 March (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko confirmed the country's readiness for close cooperation with Zimbabwe during the meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Zimbabwe Frederick Shava in Minsk on 28 March, BelTA has learned.
“It is great that we are keeping our agreements and that you are in Belarus on a business visit today. I would like to reaffirm Belarus' readiness to cooperate closely with your country. We have outlined a special plan of our work with Zimbabwe and we are ready to stick to this plan. We have also outlined some new areas of cooperation. First of all in humanitarian activities, never mind education. Mr. Mnangagwa and I have agreed to pay great attention to cooperation in the spheres of motherhood, childhood, healthcare, and child nutrition. I hope that the president's spouse, who has been entrusted to deal with this issue, will soon be here. You should know that we will do our best to help and support our friends in Zimbabwe. You can count on us in this regard,” the head of state said.
As for trade and economic relations, Aleksandr Lukashenko stated that the ways to develop them are well known. “We are ready to exchange goods with you, to set up joint ventures in your country. We are ready to accept your investments in Belarus if you are interested in it. We are ready to build such cooperation in the economy on a civilized basis. We will strictly comply with all the agreements we reached during my visit to your country,” the Belarusian leader said.
According to him, in fact a commission has been set up between the parties at the interstate level. On the Belarusian part, Deputy Prime Minister Peotr Parkhomchik is in charge of the relations with Zimbabwe. President's Special Envoy Viktor Sheiman often visits the country. “If any urgent issues arise, I will inform both you and my colleague, the President of Zimbabwe, through him. Therefore, you can count on our kindest and strongest relations with your country,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president added that a number of cooperation programs on a multilateral basis involving Belarus, Zimbabwe and other countries were also in the plans. “If you are interested in this and these countries are interested in cooperation, we will do everything necessary to develop this cooperation with you,” the head of state confirmed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted that he had a detailed talk with the president of Russia about the joint cooperation with African states, first of all with Zimbabwe, and he assured him of his great interest in building such effective cooperation.
“In short, I have done everything I promised the president [of Zimbabwe], and continue to do more. You can count on us,” the head of state said.
Welcoming the guest, Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned the current snowy weather in Belarus: “Mr. Minister, as you see, you have arrived in Belarus in due time. You can even feel what winter is like in Belarus. It is relatively warm today. But the snow is real.”
Frederick Shava, in turn, thanked the Belarusian leader for the invitation to Belarus and the opportunity to meet in the Palace of Independence, which made a pleasant impression on him. “Let me also convey my warmest wishes from your brother, President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe,” Zimbabwe's minister of foreign affairs and international trade said, referring to the friendly relations between the leaders of the two countries. “He sends his wishes for your good health and further development of relations between our countries,” Frederick Shava added. He also thanked the Belarusian government and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Aleinik for the hospitality and warm welcome.