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[b]President Lukashenko’s official visit to the United Arab Emirates ends tour of ‘distant arc’ of South-East Asia and Middle East[/b]The President’s recent tour has included visits to Indonesia and Singapore, with whom relations are in their infancy, as well as the UAE, with whom Belarus has a long-established relationship. As well as mastering new markets in South-East Asia, Belarus is keen to nurture existing good relations.
The President’s recent tour has included visits to Indonesia and Singapore, with whom relations are in their infancy, as well as the UAE, with whom Belarus has a long-established relationship. As well as mastering new markets in South-East Asia, Belarus is keen to nurture existing good relations.
Speaking to journalists, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Valentin Rybakov, gave his views on Belarusian-Emirati interaction and co-operation. Like many others, I’ve been wondering what the Emirates can offer Belarus — being the most brilliant part of the Middle East. We all know about their oil reserves, for which they are famous, but Abu-Dhabi is also known as a dynamic, super modern international economic centre. It boasts the world’s highest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, while its intellectual prowess is evident in its Internet-city.
The whole world is keen to liaise with today’s UAE. For the last two decades, good relations have existed between our two countries, characterised by a high degree of trust and political dialogue. “Such results have been achieved thanks to good personal contacts between the leadership of Belarus and the UAE, which are often the deciding factor, taking into account the unique nature of Arab Peninsula nations,” emphasised the Deputy Minister.
As regards the development of co-operation with the UAE, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that they possess significant free finance resources. Mr. Rybakov affirmed that partners from the Emirates are interesting as investors and that Belarus has various attractive projects to offer in the spheres of infrastructure, agriculture, industry and real estate.
Last year, we began a major pilot project in the sphere of property in Minsk, liaising with one of the largest Emirati holding companies: Al Habtoor. Mr. Rybakov stresses that there are other potential investors, especially following the recent Belarusian trade fair in Dubai, hosted by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He believes that increased turnover and mutually beneficial investment projects will be the result.
Analysing prospects for developing co-operation with the UAE and taking into account the recent visit of the President of Belarus to this country, the Minister for Foreign Affairs stresses, “The Head of State recently met the Crown Prince of Abu-Dhabi, the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He also met the UAE Interior Minister, Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Both are keen to activate co-operation in key economic spheres, as well as in the military technical sphere. The Crown Prince of Abu-Dhabi has tasked the UAE government with preparing suggestions for key areas of co-operation with Belarus, leading to the launch of joint, mutually beneficial projects in the near future.
At the next meeting of the inter-governmental joint committee, concrete projects are to be discussed, including suggestions from the Belarusian President’s meetings with the UAE leadership.
By Nina Romanova