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14 Nov 2016

Lukashenko: Negotiations with Erdogan opened the gates to more intensive Belarusian-Turkish contacts

MOGILEV, 14 November (BelTA) – Negotiations with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Minsk on 11 November paved the way to stepping up contacts between Belarus and Turkey. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with workers of the Mogilev-based chemical fiber company OAO Mogilevkhimvolokno on 14 November, BelTA has learned.

Alexander Lukashenko remarked that it had been the first official visit of Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Belarus. “He brought 250 heads of major companies with him. What else do we need? It was a perfect occasion for striking a deal. We, the presidents, gave them an opportunity to get together. Meetings were held, arrangements were made, some work has begun already,” said the head of state. “It was a very good and positive meeting. The Turkey president told me his visit to Belarus had been unparalleled. Two huge aircraft brought ‘the troops’ here in Belarus in order to strike a deal. I am convinced that heads of our private and state-run companies were able to get in touch with them and come to terms.”

The President remarked that it was one of the first steps in establishing contacts with representatives of the Turkish private sector. “More steps will be made later on. The Turkey president asked me to visit his country in spring. Concrete matters will be discussed then such as specific export and import duties. Although the governments have already started working on it. The negotiations will not be simple since Turkey will have to surrender some interests. It will have to give us part of its market or someone else’s,” explained Alexander Lukashenko. The President said that among other things the Turkish side is interested in manufacturing grain and forage harvesters as well as road construction machines in Turkey. “Negotiations are in progress to establish cooperation of Turkish companies with Minsk Tractor Works and BelAZ. We discussed everything and opened these gates so that you could work on this market. I think the process will move faster if we don’t fall asleep,” stressed Alexander Lukashenko.

The President also touched upon humanitarian cooperation with Turkey. In particular, he mentioned the opening of the Cathedral Mosque in Minsk. “They appreciated it. The Turkey president told me so. No other country had treated them like that,” noted the Belarusian leader.

“The visit was saturated, very interesting, and, I believe, very successful. Time will pass and we will see the results,” summed up the President.

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