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24 Nov 2017

EaP summit opens in Brussels 24 November

BRUSSELS, 24 November (BelTA) – The summit of the EU’s initiative Eastern Partnership (EaP) opens in Brussels today. Taking part in the forum will be an official Belarusian delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei, BelTA informs.

“We were in close contact with our European partners during the preparations for the summit, expressed our wishes. Our wishes are to have closer, barrier-free trade and economic contacts and relations. We would like to have easier access to the markets of the European Union countries. We are interested in cooperation in the energy sector and in using the EU experience in improving the economic system of the state,” Vladimir Makei told the media upon his arrival in Brussels.

The minister noted that the parties have a number of joint projects in the humanitarian sector, related to the development of local administration, the improvement of civil society, the interaction between the state and the society.

“All these issues make part of the Partnership Priorities, which are now being discussed by the parties and the work on which is almost completed,” Vladimir Makei said.

The summit also provides a good opportunity for Belarus to lay out its approaches to the situation in the region, the world order and the existing problems.

Several days earlier, Belarus’ Ambassador to Belgium with concurrent accreditation to Luxembourg Alexander Mikhnevich stated that the effect from the Eastern Partnership initiative should be tangible for ordinary citizens. This includes simplified visa rules, cancellation of roaming changes, simplification of contacts, new management technologies, communications, solution of transport and border matters.

In his words, Belarus advocates for the unity of the Eastern Partnership member states, despite the different level of cooperation with the European Union.

Belarus is in favor of the development of the EU's Eastern Partnership as an instrument for promoting non-politicized cooperation aimed against no one but at solving the common problems and issues facing the peoples and states of the region.

This year’s summit is the fifth international forum of the kind. Its participants will discuss future cooperation and take stock of the progress made after the summit in Riga in 2015.

The EU’s approach to the Eastern Partnership is oriented on results. In this respect, the European Union has identified a set of 20 deliverables for 2020, which aim to deliver concrete results and step up actions in key priority areas: economic development and market opportunities; strengthening institutions and good governance; mobility and people-to-people contacts; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; structured engagement with civil society; gender equality and non-discrimination.

The Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative between the European Union and its six Eastern neighbors: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This initiative, an eastern branch of the European Neighborhood Policy, focuses on the establishment of bilateral and multilateral relations.


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