Live interest from both sides
By Galina Rishkovets
Acute issues of Belarusian-French co-operation have been discussed by Belarusian diplomats and representatives of the French Foreign Ministry in Paris. The event at the Embassy marked the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Belarus and France.
Attending the event was Eric Fournier, Director of the Continental Europe Department of the French Foreign Ministry, alongside directorate staff. The meeting was held as a round table discussion tackling the most vital issues of bilateral interaction.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to France, H.E. Mr. Alexander Pavlovsky, made a brief report on the history of the establishment and development of diplomatic relations between our two countries, outlining milestones in such areas as politics, trade, culture and science. The results of Belarusian-French interaction were mentioned and priority areas for further development stipulated. Most of these coincided with French opinion and were positively received. Issues still under discussion were determined, alongside solutions.
Taking into account Belarus’ Year of Book, the Belarusian Embassy’s library, which contains editions in Belarusian, Russian and French, launched the new Belarus: Belovezhskaya Pushcha edition. In addition, Mir Castle documentary was screened in French, as were other films dedicated to Belarusian history and folklore.
The presentation and film aroused great interest among French diplomats, who showed their eagerness to learn more about Belarusian culture and history during conversation.
The meeting included a presentation on Belarus’ economy, particularly relating to exports. Basic data on socio-economic development in 2011 was presented, alongside an eight volume catalogue on Belarus’ export potential — donated to the French with some other informative materials.
The two parties exchanged views on certain issues of bilateral economic co-operation, with the French particularly keen to find out about the light and timber processing industries.
Areas for further development were debated, including legislation to govern Belarusian-French interaction, and collaboration in the spheres of culture, science and humanitarian aid. Mr. Pavlovsky noted the importance of further development of bilateral relations between our two countries and identified key priorities for the near future, including the organisation of thematic consultations.
The meeting with the leadership and representatives of the French Foreign Ministry was held in a constructive and benevolent atmosphere. Both sides expressed mutual interest in further fruitful development of bilateral collaboration across a wide range of issues. In particular, this year, the Belarusian Embassy is preparing a round table discussion involving students from Lyon University, planning to discuss Belarus as a UN Founder topic.