Foreign diplomats always leading weighty international affairs

Ambassadors of thirteen foreign states accredited in Minsk
As Alexander Lukashenko says, the establishment of kind, neighbourly relations with Poland has been and remains a major task for the Belarusian state. On accepting credentials from this country’s Ambassador to Belarus, Konrad Pawlik, the Head of State noted, “We share more than a common border and enjoy developed trade-economic and regional co-operation. We also bear common responsibility for security in the region.”

Slovakia is another promising EU partner for Belarus. On accepting credentials from the Slovakian Ambassador to Belarus, Joseph Migash, Mr. Lukashenko stated, “We appreciate your country’s contribution to creating a new atmosphere, aiming to normalise Belarus-EU relations. We hope Slovakia, during its presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2016, will contribute to the further development of our ties with the European Union. We hope to strengthen our bilateral collaboration.”

“This year has brought positive change to relations with the EU. Of course, we’re interested in radically advancing interaction with the EU and supporting the progressing dynamics of our co-operation,” the President told the ambassadors. He names the priorities of Belarus’ economic policy as smooth diversification of exports and equal distribution of trading ties across three major avenues: the Eurasian Economic Union, the European Union and partners in Asia, Africa and America. By 2020, Belarus plans that each direction will carry equal weight.

Australia, the Republic of Korea, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Japan are situated on opposite sides of the globe and are not yet among Belarus’ major trading partners. However, talking to the President, representatives of these countries spoke of their enthusiasm for interaction. Mr. Lukashenko particularly highlighted the necessity of strengthening economic collaboration with the United Arab Emirates, speaking to its ambassador.

Welcoming the foreign diplomats, the Head of State noted that an open attitude, hospitality, religious tolerance and peaceful intent are natural for the Belarusian nation. “These qualities have enabled Belarus to become a platform for stability and security in the region.” He added that the scars of our complex history remain today. Mr. Lukashenko stressed, “In performing your mission as ambassadors, you’ll be able to learn about and appreciate the heroic and, simultaneously, tragic past which is the basis of our state’s modern, peaceful and multi-vector policy.”

Mr. Lukashenko expressed hope that the diplomats’ activity in Belarus would lead to concrete results, making it possible to find additional niches and resources for strengthening our trade-economic contacts, while realising major international projects. “I’d like to assure you that you’ll receive all possible assistance and help from Belarusian state agencies and from our citizens, and that the most favourable conditions will be created for your work. You shouldn’t doubt my words,” the President added.

Mr. Lukashenko addressed the diplomats, saying, “Taking into consideration the open nature of the Belarusian economy, efficient economic activity is vital for sustainable development, and relies on balanced foreign trade and participation in the international division of labour.”

The draft programme for the country’s social-economic development until 2020 views exports as a key priority, not only raising volumes but ensuring diversification. Belarus aims at equal distribution of trading ties with the Eurasian Economic Union, with the European Union and with partners from Asia, Africa and America by 2020. The composition of participants at the ceremony at the Palace of Independence well illustrated this strategy.

Representatives from African states accounted for a large share of the foreign diplomats. All the globe is now focusing on this continent. Although the states located there are not yet extremely rich, they have great potential, having major mineral deposits and the capacity for an extensive market. Africa may yet become an influential player on the global economy. Those who dedicate time and energy to seeking out appropriate niches of co-operation are sure to reap rewards. With this in mind, the President has asked the Government and the Foreign Ministry to develop this vector.

By Alexander Pimenov

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