Bilateral meetings in Abu Dhabi outline new prospects

Belarus attaches great importance to development of co-operation with United Arab Emirates and sees significant potential for expansion

By Vasily Kharitonov

Belarus attaches great importance to development of co-operation with United Arab Emirates and sees significant potential for expansion


Alexander Lukashenko meets Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Alexander Lukashenko meets Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan

During a working visit by the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, to the UAE, he met with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The meeting lasted over two hours, allowing discussion of current projects and the outlining of tasks for the near future.

Alexander Lukashenko and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan gave instructions for 3-4 key projects, aiming to promote relations between our two countries to a new level. Both praised the results of the second session of the joint committee on co-operation between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE is Belarus’ main trade partner among Arab states in the Persian Gulf, with Belarus exporting car and tractor parts, tobacco products, synthetic fibres, engines and power supply units, as well as potash fertilisers, bearings, trailers and semitrailers. As of 2013, 14 organisations with UAE capital were operational in Belarus, involving $54m of UAE investment.

Belarus and the UAE have a high level of political interaction, sharing similar positions on key issues within the UN agenda.

Mr. Lukashenko’s meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of the UAE, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, touched on the UAE’s eagerness to attract qualified specialists from Belarus. The Head of State noted his productive meeting with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He explained, “We agreed on many things and have new ideas on how to improve our economic relations and relations between people.” He added that Belarus is ready to provide specialists to work in the UAE.


In turn, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan noted that Belarus has advanced industry and education, making the engagement of the Belarusian workforce a major aspect of bilateral collaboration.

“All industries, particularly manufacturing, agriculture, the social sector and the high-tech industry, are well developed in Belarus,” stressed the President. “The only things that Belarus lacks are resources and, to a certain extent, investment — both of which are abundant in the UAE. Therefore, we need to join efforts for the benefit of our two states.”

The meeting also focused on liaisons in the sphere of law enforcement, as our law enforcement bodies have been working together since 2005. The committee on co-operation with Belarus was established at the UAE Ministry of the Interior last year, with Emirati specialists attending short courses at the Belarusian Interior Ministry Academy.

Trade between Belarus and the UAE is expected to reach $500m in 2015, encouraging further co-operation, as noted by the President of Belarus, during his meeting with the Deputy National Security Advisor of the UAE, Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Mr. Lukashenko noted that Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan had been present at the recent meeting between the Belarusian President and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. “You were present at our long negotiations and discussions, yesterday and today, so you are familiar with trade-economic relations and can add your thoughts to the potential new avenues of co-operation proposed by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” added Mr. Lukashenko.

The President stressed that, upon his return to Belarus, he would instruct the Government to draft a list of products in demand in the UAE, in order to boost bilateral trade to $500m next year. “We’d like the Emirati side to do the same,” said the Belarusian leader.

“We must reach this level of bilateral trade, in order to create the foundation and economic platform for further co-operation. We can do anything you need of us, and you have what we need. It would be great to join efforts, expanding and enhancing our economic and security relations, among others,” noted the Head of State.

Mr. Lukashenko stressed that he desires to see top level agreements implemented effectively, and as soon as possible. He promised to instruct the Belarusian Government accordingly, saying, “I’d like you, as a person who supervises relations between Belarus and the UAE, to do the same. Then, we’ll be able to advance our co-operation to the highest level. We very much hope that our intensive exchanges of visits at top level and at the level of ministers and other officials will promote progress in our relations.”

Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan remarked that Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was satisfied with his meeting with the Belarusian President and was impressed by the openness of their dialogue. “I think that, yesterday, our relations saw a certain breakthrough,” underlined the Deputy National Security Advisor of the UAE, adding that the Emirati side had worked hard on the agreements.

“As far as I can see, we’ve managed to convince our UAE partners that we have serious intentions and are eager to build long-term relations,” summed up Mr. Lukashenko. His visit included a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, to honour the memory of the first President of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
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