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17 Nov 2017

Gabriel hails progress in Belarus-EU visa facilitation talks

German Vice Chancellor, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel MINSK, 17 November (BelTA) - Belarus and the EU have made great progress in the visa facilitation negotiations, German Vice Chancellor, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel said when speaking at the Minsk Forum, BelTA has learned.

Sigmar Gabriel, in particular, noted that Belarus launched a five-day visa program for citizens of more than 80 states. “It is a signal that the country is confident,” he said. “We are now negotiating the facilitation of visa requirements with Belarus. We have made great progress, but I'd like to see the remaining issues resolved as soon as possible. I want us to be flexible and not waste too much time on these last moments,” the German minister said.

He also views as important the signing of a framework agreement between Belarus and the European Union. “We need to move forward here as well,” said Sigmar Gabriel. Such a document is in the interests of both the sides, he added.

The German federal minister believes that Belarus and the EU need to maintain dialogue. “Minsk Forum is ideal for it. Let us use its advantages today and in the future,” he said.

Minsk Forum was resumed in 2016 following a six-year hiatus. The forum discusses Belarus’ participation in the Eastern Partnership initiative, the country’s chances to join the WTO and regional cooperation.

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