MINSK, 13 December (BelTA) – Turkey is one of the friendliest countries for Belarus, President Aleksandr Lukashenko said in a recent interview with the Turkish television and radio company TRT, BelTA has learned.
The two countries cooperate at many levels, including in trade and economy. “We have approached a billion-dollar mark in trade. We posted over $700 million in trade in 2020. This year the trade has grown tremendously year-on-year,” the Belarusian leader noted.
As for foreign policy, Belarus and Turkey hold similar positions on many issues. “There are no problems in international organizations. We support each other. Turkey is one of the friendliest states for Belarus. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs [of Turkey], and Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu support Belarus at all international platforms. Likewise, we support Turkey. Such friendly relations with the Turkish state and the Turkish people are very important for us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
“Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Belarusian people, I would like to sincerely thank Recep Erdogan [President of Turkey] and the Turkish leadership for Turkey's principled stance and consistency towards Belarus. You keep your promises. And we return the favor,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the president, he has good personal relations with the Turkish leader: “Any request of Recep Erdogan is fulfilled without question by Belarus, whenever it is possible. Turkey does the same. I once again thank the Turkish leadership for their principled position and integrity towards our Belarus.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to how Turkey is handling the large influx of refugees: “I can say that you are just a heroic country and your leadership is the noblest in the world. You are hosting more than four million refugees on your territory. This does you honor.”
The journalist asked if Aleksandr Lukashenko considers Turkish President Recep Erdogan the leader of the Muslim world. “Whether or not I consider Erdogan a leader of the Muslim world, he has already become a significant figure in this Muslim world. He created a powerful party in Turkey [the Justice and Development Party]. He defined the development path of the Turkish state and 85 million Turkish people in the 21st century. He really acts like a true leader in that part of the planet. He is a very influential personality in the Muslim world and beyond,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.