A LEVEL OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

An official visit of the President of Belarus to Venezuela has taken place.Venezuela is one of the most consistent political allies and trade and economical partners of Belarus. The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced this at the meeting in Caracas with a Venezuelan leader Hugo Chбvez.
Venezuela is one of the most consistent political allies and trade and economical partners of Belarus. The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko announced this at the meeting in Caracas with a Venezuelan leader Hugo Chбvez.

“We can state that interaction of our countries is on the level of strategic partnership, regular contacts at the level of the countries’ presidents testify on this”, — noted Alexander Lukashenko. Starting with July 2006, this was already the fourth meeting of the heads of Belarus and Venezuela.
During negotiations in Caracas, the leaders of both countries confirmed their readiness to develop a constructive dialogue on certain cooperation directions, earlier defined by them during their bilateral meetings in Minsk. Alexander Lukashenko and Hugo Chбvez also expressed their wish to develop their interaction more actively.

During last seven years a Belarusian export to Venezuela was represented, on the whole, by potash fertilizers. In 2007, apart from potassium, automobiles and tractors were exported to this country from Belarus. At the present time joint trade and economical projects are being realized, including also establishment of Belarusian-Venezuelan enterprises on prospecting seismology, oil extraction, production of construction materials.

Supplies to Venezuela of Belarusian automobile, agricultural, road-construction, household appliances and establishment of assembly productions of MTZ, MAZ BelAZ have begun. Belarusian specialists realize design of dwelling houses in Venezuela. A Venezuelan party offered Belarusians to consider a question on participation in gasification of population centers of this country.

In opinion of Belarusian experts, the authority and influence of Venezuela in the Latin-American region and the Movement of Non-Alignment can promote more active advancement of Belarusian interests to other countries of the Latin America.

A president of Belarus in Caracas laid a wreath to the sarcophagus of Simon Bolivar in the National pantheon, talked with the representatives of Venezuelan society.

“I am sincerely grateful for honor to visit a holy place for each citizen of your country — the National pantheon — and to give a bow to the ash of a great son of Venezuelan people, a Liberator of the Southern America Simon Bolivar. His name causes a feeling of deep respect, and his life is a bright example of self-sacrificing service to his Motherland, to ideals of freedom and justice”, — Alexander Lukashenko left such a record in the book of honorary guests of the pantheon.

In the National pantheon buried the relics of more than 140 famous citizens of Venezuela, including politicians, historians, writers and doctors. In the Latin America the name of Simon Bolivar is very popular. It is immortalized in the name of the state (the Republic of Bolivia), provinces, cities, streets, monetary units, and also in numerous monuments.

Alexander Lukashenko and Hugo Chбvez also took part in the opening ceremony of the National exhibition of the Republic of Belarus. 216 Belarusian exponents were represented at the exhibition. Within its frames a representation of economical, export, scientific and technical potential took place. The visitors could be acquainted with investment projects, with activity of free economic areas, bank and insurance sectors of economy, tourist possibilities of the republic, a system of higher education and terms of education of foreign students.

In the cultural program of exhibition took part the leading creative collectives of Belarus. Exposition’s guests could be acquainted with Belarusian folk crafts and the national cuisine. Collections of Belarusian fashion designers and production of light industry were demonstrated to the exhibition’s visitors. For all goods, represented at the exhibition, the contracts with Venezuelan party have been concluded.

Presidents of Belarus and Venezuela Alexander Lukashenko and Hugo Chбvez took part in the opening ceremony of joint Belarusian-Venezuelan enterprise on oil extraction in Ansoategi state. In presence of the heads of the countries a historical event took place — the first joint oil was received.
Alexander Lukashenko underlined: “Nobody did such gifts for our country — as it was done for Belarus in the land, so far away from us geographically. I want to assure you: we have something to answer for this great gift of Venezuelan nation. We will make everything for provision of sovereignty, safety and independence of Venezuela”.

The president stressed that Belarus in the times of Soviet Union was the most technological and knowledge-intensive country. “We preserved all this and we will share our knowledge and results with Venezuela. During 2–3 years we will establish here such enterprises, which you will be proud of”, — said a Belarusian leader.

Hugo Chбvez, in his turn, confirmed the intention of Venezuela to develop mutually profitable cooperation with Belarus. According to the president of Venezuela, his country carries out independent foreign policy. Having noted the similarity of approach in foreign and internal policies of both countries, Hugo Chбvez underlined that Venezuela and Belarus stand against unipolar world and imposing outside policy.

The president of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko was awarded the highest prize of Venezuela — the order of Liberator. Hugo Chбvez served this prize personally to him on December 8 after the opening ceremony of the joint Belarusian-Venezuelan enterprise on oil extraction. Venezuelans consider the order of Liberator the most prestigious prize.

Alexander Lukashenko thanked Hugo Chбvez for a high prize, having stressed that this is also a prize for the whole Belarusian nation.

Belarus and Venezuela also concluded an agreement on military-technical cooperation. The documents were also signed, stipulating interaction in different spheres. There are agreements between the governments of both countries among them on cooperation in trade and economical spheres, on assistance to realization and mutual protection of investments, on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion, on abolishment of visas in the national passports. Apart from that, the agreements are concluded on cooperation between the Ministry of Finances of Belarus and the Ministry of people’s authority on finances of Venezuela, on cultural cooperation between two countries, on cooperation in the sphere of education, and also in the sphere of crime fighting. Apart from that, the contract was concluded, stipulating design and construction of a dwelling district in Venezuela for 5 thousand flats by a Belarusian party.

Vladimir Mihalevich
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