[b]On accepting credentials of ambassadors from foreign states, President of Belarus notes that the formation of a ‘belt of neighbourliness’ is a priority of Belarusian foreign policy[/b]The ambassadors of Angola, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Chile have presented their credentials to the President of Belarus. Addressing the diplomats, the Head of State underlined that history has taught Belarusians to appreciate peace and trust, making friends without bearing grudges. He sees this as a reliable basis for dialogue and mutually beneficial co-operation. “Whatever regions you represent, you’re acquiring a long-term, sincere partner in the centre of Europe in Belarus. We aren’t just ready for efficient interaction but are ready to assist our friends where necessary,” Mr. Lukashenko asserted.
The ambassadors of Angola, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Cote d’Ivoire, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, the Philippines and Chile have presented their credentials to the President of Belarus. Addressing the diplomats, the Head of State underlined that history has taught Belarusians to appreciate peace and trust, making friends without bearing grudges. He sees this as a reliable basis for dialogue and mutually beneficial co-operation. “Whatever regions you represent, you’re acquiring a long-term, sincere partner in the centre of Europe in Belarus. We aren’t just ready for efficient interaction but are ready to assist our friends where necessary,” Mr. Lukashenko asserted.
Mr. Lukashenko noted that Belarus is keen to implement initiatives which reinforce ties between countries and which expand horizons of collaboration. “Belarus hopes for mutual enrichment of cultures and deeper understanding between nations. In this context, one of the undoubted priorities of Belarusian foreign policy is the formation of a belt of neighbourliness,” emphasised the Head of State. “Our principle is not to create any problems for our neighbours, while building trust and jointly overcoming difficulties.”
Accepting the credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Lithuania to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Evaldas Ignatavičius, the Head of State stressed that Belarus and Lithuania are united by common history, culture, treasures and traditions. “There’s nothing to divide us, as our two countries have many joint interests: in the spheres of security, trade and industrial co-operation. We should jointly use and expand our existing transport and logistics potential. We’re ready to make our relations an example of truly neighbourliness,” noted the Belarusian leader. “We hope that Lithuania’s presidency of the EU in the second half of 2013 will help stabilise Belarusian-European relations.”
Accepting credentials from the ambassadors of Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Chile, the President emphasised that Belarus is keen to expand its interaction with Latin America. The ambassadors are, respectively, H.E. Mr. Estuardo Meneses Coronado, H.E. Mr. Rubйn Alberto Beltrбn Guerrero, H.E. Mr. Gustavo Antonio Otero Zapata and H.E. Mr. Juan Eduardo Egiguren Guzmбn.
“Every year, interaction with Latin American states embraces new spheres and projects. Last year, our total trade turnover with countries in this region exceeded $2bn. Moreover, various major projects are being successfully implemented: in the spheres of oil extraction, construction and industrial and agricultural manufacture,” noted the Head of State. “We can now confidently say that Belarusian goods, technologies and specialists are known for their high quality in Latin America.”
“We’re ready to share our accumulated experience with Mexico, Peru, Chile, Guatemala and other states. I’m confident that our nations boast huge potential for collaboration,” noted the President. He confirmed that Belarus is ready to expand mutual trade with countries in this region and to implement joint projects in the spheres of mineral extraction, construction, logistics and joint assembly.
The Head of State noted that Asian countries are Belarus’ traditional partners but that a new phase of co-operation is possible. Accepting the credentials of the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Belarus, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Reza Sabouri, Mr. Lukashenko expresses confidence that our level of interaction may be significantly raised if Iran wishes to do so. “Belarus is interested in successfully implementing joint projects with Iranian capital and will continue to create necessary conditions to support this,” the Belarusian President added, emphasising that our countries also share similar positions on most international issues. “Belarusian-Iranian contacts are of a purely peaceful nature: not directed against any countries or blocs,” underlined the Belarusian leader.
Laos and the Philippines are also invited to step up their mutually beneficial collaboration with Belarus, as President Lukashenko noted on receiving credentials from the H.E.
Mr. Thieng Boupha and H.E. Mr. Alejandro Bunola Mosquera. He underlined, “We’re absolutely satisfied with joint efforts aimed at strengthening Belarus-Laos co-operation. We’ll be glad to welcome the Laotian Head of State to Minsk this year, in order to continue our dialogue, covering a whole range of mutual relations, determining promising new projects.”
The President also praised the role of the Philippines in global and regional politics, saying that it enjoys deserved respect among global and regional organisations. “There are no problems between us to impede the essential expansion of all-embracing interaction,” stated the Belarusian leader.
Mr. Lukashenko added that major opportunities exist to develop relations with African countries, speaking to the ambassadors of Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria: H.E.
Mr. Joaquim Augusto de Lemos, H.E.
Mr. Seko Intchasso, H.E. Mr. Bernard Tano-Boutchoue and H.E. Mr. Assam Ekanem Assam. He emphasised, “Belarus plans to expand its network of diplomatic missions in Africa and has much to offer partners from Nigeria, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau.”
Mr. Lukashenko told all the diplomats present that Belarus is keen to see potential achieved in the trade and economic sphere. Belarus’ wide range of industrial and agricultural products is in demand in Africa, with Nigeria soon hosting joint production of ‘Belarus’ tractors, MAZ trucks and buses. “Nigeria is a foothold on the huge African continent, where our focus is now placed seriously,” continued the Belarusian leader.
“Belarus is rightfully proud of its achievements in science, education, transport and civil engineering. I urge you to drive forward opportunities for bolstering interstate ties in all areas,” remarked the Head of State. “With your aid, co-operation between our countries could gain considerable impulse, reaching new heights.”
Mr. Lukashenko expressed his hope that relations between Belarus and the countries represented by the diplomats will become a worthy example of friendship and mutually beneficial collaboration.