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6 Jun 2017

Belarus may open new diplomatic missions in Africa

Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov MINSK, 6 June (BelTA) – The network of Belarusian diplomatic missions in the African countries may be expanded, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Valentin Rybakov told the media ahead of the first Belarusian-African forum Belarus and Africa New Frontiers on 6 June, BelTA has learned.

“Maintaining an embassy in a foreign country is a costly business. If it makes economic sense, we would be interested in expanding the network of our missions abroad. Today we have embassies in Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. Of course, this is not enough, but compared to the times when we had no embassies in Africa at all, this is a considerable leap forward,” Valentin Rybakov emphasized. The diplomat explained that when choosing a country for opening an embassy, attention is given to those states that are well-positioned for strengthening the cooperation with other countries of the region.

Valentin Rybakov stressed that Belarus is working successfully on the African continent. “Today’s forum is a landmark event. Now we will be trying to do our best to help partners find each other. The continent is very promising, and there is great cooperation potential. We have something to offer to the African countries. We are busy implementing joint projects with a number of African states,” Valentin Rybakov said. First of all, these include vehicle assembly projects and agricultural projects.

The first Belarusian-African forum is running on 6 and 7 June as part of the Belarusian agro-industrial week Belagro 2017. Partaking in the forum are the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus and the African Export-Import Bank. The event is aimed at promoting cooperation in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The number of participants from the African countries exceeds 70 representatives, including the agriculture ministers of Angola, Namibia, and Uganda, the industry minister of Angola, the finance minister of Togo, the leadership of the African Export-Import Bank, other banking institutions of Africa, the president of the National African Farmers Union, and representatives of Africa’s biggest companies.

 

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