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14 Dec 2015

Nikolai Snopkov leads Belarusian delegation during SCO summit

MINSK, 14 December (BelTA) – Nikolai Snopkov, Deputy Head of the Belarus President Administration, chairman of the Belarusian part of the Belarusian-Chinese intergovernmental committee on cooperation, leads the Belarusian delegation that is taking part in the session of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) for the first time since Belarus was granted the observer status in the Organization, the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told BelTA.

The event is taking place in the city of Zhengzhou, Henan Province, China. The Belarusian delegation also includes Economy Minister, chairman of the Belarusian part of the Belarusian-Chinese commission for trade and economic cooperation Vladimir Zinovsky, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Rybakov, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to China Viktor Burya.

According to the source, Belarus is taking part in the event for the sake of practicing interaction with the SCO at the high level and for the sake of discussing concrete avenues of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the organization.

Nikolai Snopkov is expected to make a speech during the expanded participation session of the Council on 15 December. The session will involve representatives of the observer states. In his speech Nikolai Snopkov will outline Belarus’ stance on the joint promotion of the Silk Road Economic Belt project and will put forth proposals concerning promising aspects of Belarus’ participation in SCO mechanisms and projects.

The SCO Council of Heads of Government (prime ministers) is a body that adopts the budget. It also deals with and makes decisions on most of the matters concerning concrete interaction in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, particularly economic cooperation. Sessions of the Council are held on an annual basis. This year the Council will be presided by China Prime Minister LI Keqiang. The session will focus on prospects and measures to advance SCO cooperation in the area of trade, economy, finance, transport and communication in light of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.

The acquisition of the SCO observer status in July 2015 has already allowed Belarus to more actively get involved in the organization’s operation in many areas at a new level.

Representatives of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded that after the July summit in Russian Ufa Belarusian delegations have taken part in conferences involving heads of secretariats of security councils, prosecutors general, presiding judges of supreme courts, ministers of justice, economy, culture, and transport. In September 2015 Belarus presented a large-scale national exposition during the first Shanghai Cooperation Organization merchandise expo in the Chinese city of Xian.

As a result of taking part in the seventh conference of SCO ministers of transport the Belarusian side said the country is ready to accede to the SCO intergovernmental agreement on enabling favorable conditions for international transportation by road of 12 September 2014. Apart from that, a mission of SCO observers led by SCO Secretary General Dmitry Mezentsev took part in the monitoring of the presidential election in Belarus for the first time. The SCO had not sent such missions to observer states before.

The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concluded that Belarus intends to continue taking an active part in the organization’s operation, making its own contribution to stronger mutually beneficial cooperation, stability, and security in the region.

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