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15 Mar 2017

Makei: Belarus seeks to expand business ties with Belgium

MINSK, 15 March (BelTA) – Belarus seeks to expand business ties with Belgium, Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said after the talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders, BelTA has learnt.

“Belarus views Belgium as one of the most important partners in the EU. We would like to intensify mutually beneficial cooperation as much as possible, above all in economy, including through the implementation of investment projects, development of industrial cooperation in the light of the positive experience. We would like to enhance cooperation in logistics, energy, chemical and food industries,” Vladimir Makei said.

According to him, the parties intend to support existing and new contacts between businesses, universities, culture institutions, media outlets, sport associations and public organizations of Belarus and Belgium.

In general, the parties discussed the state and prospects for intensifying the Belarusian-Belgian cooperation in various fields. ‘We believe that the potential of bilateral cooperation is great and our countries have something to offer each other,” Vladimir Makei stressed.

He expressed gratitude to Belgium and, above all, to its public initiatives for his assistance and support of Belarus in mitigating the Chernobyl impact. “This humanitarian dimension plays an important role in our bilateral relations,” the minister said.

In addition, the parties considered the possibility of further enhancing the EU-Belarus dialogue, exchanged views and assessments on a number of topical issues on the international agenda, stressed the importance of normalizing the situation in the region, strengthening of peace, stability and security in Europe and beyond. “We also touched on the theme of aligning the integration processes on the continent, especially in the context of possible interaction between the European and Eurasian integration processes,” Vladimir Makei said.

The meeting also highlighted cooperation with the civil society, which plays an important role in the country’s development, the minister noted. “We need an open dialogue with the civil society on every matter crucial for the state’s development,” Vladimir Makei said.

He added that the current visit will give a powerful impetus to the Belarusian-Belgian relations. “We believe it is important for us to meet each other halfway, make positive steps in order to have more successful stories that will raise the level of our relations,” the minister stressed.

Laying out his vision of the future relations between Belarus and Belgium, Vladimir Makei said: “It would be great if we stopped discussing the things that divide us, make us different, and the reforms we need to undertake. We would like such visits to become a regular practice rather thank landmark events.”

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