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13 Jul 2018

Belarus, France to develop cooperation in sport, tourism

MINSK, 13 July (BelTA) - Cooperation between Belarus and France in sport and tourism was in focus of a working meeting between Belarus’ Sport and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Belarus Didier Canesse, BelTA learned from the press service of the ministry.

The parties discussed the status and prospects of cooperation between the two countries in sport and tourism. Sergei Kovalchuk congratulated the ambassador on France’s advancement to the 2018 FIFA World Cup final and wished the team good luck in Sunday's match. Didier Canesse noted that France has many fans in Minsk, of which he made sure having visited the fan zone near the Palace of Sports.

Sergei Kovalchuk stressed that the cooperation in sport between Belarus and France has been successfully developing between many sports federations. National teams and club sides regularly take part in international competitions held in both countries. According to the minister, the countries need to bolster ties through relevant educational institutions, scientific and practical centers and the national anti-doping agencies because these areas of cooperation remain relevant and promising.

With regard to tourism, France has traditionally been a popular travel destination for many Belarusians. “Our travel companies regularly organize trips to Europe, which often include visits to France,” Sergei Kovalchuk noted. But a reverse flow of tourists is limited. In this regard, the parties agreed to establish closer contacts and exchange information on a regular basis.

The ambassador briefed the minister on one of the French companies which provides a range of services related to sport equipment installation. Didier Canesse assured that the company could be useful to Minsk as the country is gearing up to host the 2nd European Games because it has a wealth of practical experience. It was engaged in the preparation of the 1st European Games in Baku, the Olympics in Rio da Janeiro and Pyeongchang. He also asked to examine the possibility of holding, during the European Games, the international festival of sport dancing in wheelchairs and skydiving that could contribute to social rehabilitation of people with disabilities, and to the positive image of Belarus.

In turn, the minister invited the ambassador to take part in the Minsk International Half Marathon due on 9 September.

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