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10 Jul 2017

Belarus suggests signing interparliamentary agreement with Netherlands

MINSK, 10 July (BelTA) – Vladimir Andreichenko, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Belarus’ National Assembly, offered to sign a document on Belarus-Netherlands interparliamentary cooperation during a meeting with Johanna Brandt, Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands on 10 July, BelTA has learned.

According to the speaker, MPs play a significant role in fostering bilateral ties. He remarked that the 26th OSCE PA Annual Session ended in Minsk the previous day. The Dutch delegation took an active part in the session, too. “Your delegates have been provided an opportunity to learn more about our country, its history, culture, and landmarks,” Vladimir Andreichenko said. He expressed his hope that this will give a new impetus to Belarus-Netherlands interparliamentary relations. “We are interested in it and we think we should continue the dialogue that has started so far,” the speaker underlined.

He noted Belarus is ready to sign a document (a letter of intent, a memorandum, or a cooperation agreement), set up groups of friendship between the National Assembly of Belarus and the States General of the Netherlands, and exchange visits of working groups or speakers if the Netherlands is ready to do so

He believes this step will help intensify interparliamentary dialogue and also trade and economic interaction.

Speaking about diplomatic relations, the speaker said he views the opening of the Dutch Embassy Office in Minsk as an essential step. “Over the 25 years of our diplomatic relations Belarus has been consistently developing friendly ties with your country. We commit to similar approaches in respect of other states. We are glad we have lately achieved certain results in the EU-Belarus dialogue thanks to our efforts and the help of our partners. Today we see the readiness of the EU. We have seen it take certain practical measures towards strengthening political, trade, and economic cooperation with Belarus and engaging the European financial institutions in the Belarusian economy,” Vladimir Andreichenko summarized.

In turn, Johanna Brandt highlighted the Netherlands is interested in promoting relations with Belarus. According to her, the opening of the Dutch Embassy Office in Minsk confirms this intention. “We will see what happens next. We will probably open an embassy in the future but what we are doing right now is very important,” she added.

Johanna Brandt stressed it is necessary to develop trade, economic, and investment collaboration, and improve the legal framework. It is also important to promote contacts between citizens, Johanna Brandt said. She cited as an example the opportunity for the Belarusian children living in Chernobyl-affected areas to undergo health recovery in the Netherlands.

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