Potential for ties far from exhausted

Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek visits Minsk
The President of Belarus recently met the Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Lubomir Zaoralek, and began by recalling history.  “I’ve never viewed Czechoslovakia, or the Czech Republic or Slovakia as foreign countries, as we have so much in common. I won’t say that everything is cloudless but we’ve had more good moments than bad,” he noted.

Lubomir Zaoralek

Unfortunately, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, our paths slightly diverged; however, this isn’t a reason to turn from each other. Moreover, the Czech Republic has remained steadily among Belarus’ top 30 trade partners. We should study history, learning lessons and drawing corresponding conclusions. We’ll observe positive changes if we do. The President added, “We’ve been able to reverse aspects, so that the current situation is characterised by good relations between European states, primarily between Belarus and the Czech Republic.” As part of the EU, the Czech Republic is known as one of the leading players in the Eastern European region; those in Brussels are likely to listen to Prague’s opinion. Mr. Zaoralek believes that it’s high time we begin a new chapter in Belarus-Czech relations.

In Minsk, the two sides agreed to further develop all-round co-operation, noted Belarus’ Foreign Minister, Vladimir Makei, speaking at the launch of the new embassy.

The Head of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry stressed that the opening of the new embassy building is significant to Belarusian-Czech relations. The Czech Embassy has been operating in Minsk since 1994, in  ‘intense years of collaboration, full of ups and downs’, added Mr. Makei.

The Belarusian Foreign Minister has called the first official visit of the Head of the Czech Foreign Ministry ‘historic’, adding that the opening of the new building should inspire further interaction between Belarus and the Czech Republic.

By Vladimir Velikhov
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