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17 Nov 2020

Lukashenko comments on international situation, Belarus' foreign policy goals

Lukashenko comments on international situation, Belarus' foreign policy goals

MINSK, 17 November (BelTA) – As before, Belarus is set to strengthen mutually beneficial relations with all foreign partners, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he hosted a meeting to discuss foreign policy on 17 November, BelTA has learned.

The international situation remains tense, and the pandemic is not the only reason for that, the head of state noted. New challenges and threats, including threats to economic security, have emerged. Belarus has to respond to them, the president stressed.

“There was another flare-up in the territory of the former Soviet Union. This time in Nagorno-Karabakh. The armed conflict between our close partners Armenia and Azerbaijan, which came to an end, will, most likely, continue in the diplomatic field,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “After Russia's active involvement in the conflict (let's be honest, Turkey also did its part, although some media outlets do not talk about this), co-chairs of the so-called [OSCE] Minsk Group in the West began to worry. Apart from Russia, it includes France and the USA. They are now ready for a discussion of future arrangements there and voice concerns over Russia only peace-keepers there,” he added.

It is still early to speak about true peace in Nagorno-Karabakh, when people can re-settle to the territories they abandoned during the war and when the ethnic minorities can feel safe, the head of state believes. He also pointed out that there are still ongoing wars in the Middle East and North Africa where Belarus has economic interests. Belarus is also concerned about rising discontent in Europe that is fueled by coronavirus restrictions and Islamist terrorist attacks. “Although, you know, France, Germany, and other countries have invited those Islamists themselves. They opened borders and invited them over. I get it, they needed workforce. But why are they complaining now? They have invited them, although they knew their culture, cohesion, religion. Now respect them since you have invited them yourselves. The problem is not with Islamists, but with leaders of those civilized countries in Europe,” the president said.

The recent presidential election in the USA adds uncertainty to the international situation because it is unclear what Washington's future policy will be, Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

“However, the situation around Belarus is the most important thing for us. After the election campaign, our country unwillingly turned into an arena for competing interests. During my visits to various regions of the country, I warned everyone that we might become a theater of war, and it will not be our war. It will have nothing to do with our interests. There is an ongoing confrontation. Belarus has become a victim of naked aggression, although not yet a hot war. But even in this situation, we, as before, will be working to strengthen mutually beneficial ties with all our foreign partners,” the head of state said.

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