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5 Jul 2018

Belarus holds Independence Day receptions in Baghdad and Stockholm

MINSK, 5 July (BelTA) – An official reception on the occasion of Belarus’ Independence Day took place in Baghdad on 5 July, BelTA learned from the Belarusian Embassy in Turkey that represents Belarus’ interests in Iraq.

“Sovereignty is the highest value for the Republic of Belarus. This value defines our foreign policy. We are always open for mutually beneficial cooperation with our partners with respect for their culture, history and traditions,” Belarus’ Ambassador to Turkey with concurrent accreditation to Iraq Andrei Savinykh said as he addressed the event.

The national reception was held for the first time in 15 years and drew considerable public attention. Taking part in the event were representatives of government agencies, including foreign ministry, interior ministry, defense ministry, healthcare ministry and education ministry, political party leaders, business people, journalists. The reception was attended by heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Baghdad.

The event was arranged by the Belarusian embassy with organizational and financial support of Belarus’ Honorary Consul in Baghdad Madjid Al-Qaisi.

In January-April 2018, Belarus’ export to Iraq stood at $1.3 million (up by 90.7% over the same period in 2017), no import was registered. Belarus exported medicines, oil products, healthcare products, cosmetics, lumber products, cheese and cottage cheese.

In 2017 the trade in services between the two countries made up $4.2 million (up by 40.9% over 2016). The export of services was estimated at $3.6 million (up by 86%), the import stood at $0.6 million making up 56.8% of the figure registered a year before. In January-March 2018, the trade in services between Belarus and Iraq was estimated at $1 million (up by 15% over the same period in 2017), the export of services rose by 27.6% to $0.8 million, the import stood at $0.2 million making up 85.6% of the figure registered in the same period a year before. The trade in services is dominated by tourism, education and transportation. Direct flights and vigorous efforts of honorary consuls to promote tourism resulted in the considerable increase in the export of tourist services. All in all, the export of tourist services to Iraq in 2017 rose 3.2 times over 2016 and made up $1.6 million.

A similar reception was arranged by the Belarusian diplomatic mission in Sweden. The reception was the first one after the Belarusian embassy resumed its operations in Stockholm. Attending the event were government officials of Sweden and diplomats. Addressing the audience, Ambassador Dmitry Mironchik emphasized that the relations between Belarus and Sweden saw their ups and downs; however, as political contacts resumed, the parties restored mutual trust and reopened their diplomatic missions. This opens up new opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two states.

Festive events timed to Belarus’ Independence Day were held in other diplomatic missions of Belarus abroad.

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