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Opinions & Interviews

15 Apr 2019

Agenda of Belarus-Turkey talks revealed

Agenda of Belarus-Turkey talks revealed

MINSK, 15 April (BelTA) – In an interview with Anadolu Agency of Turkey, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko spoke about the agenda of the forthcoming negotiations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that trade and economic cooperation makes the foundation of any relationship and countries should develop it if they want to have long-term and stable relations. “We need to create this foundation, to strengthen it. We should build on the things we have already achieved and further develop trade, economic relations, and investment. We have approached this. The upcoming visit to Turkey will be mainly dedicated to these issues. We will talk about joint projects, joint investment, more intensive and balanced trade,” the president said.

“Frankly speaking, the political, diplomatic, humanitarian, and recently cultural relations between our states have significantly outpaced economic ties and trade. Our trade is estimated at a billion dollars but we can do much better. By the way, Belarus is running a large deficit in trade. We should aim for parity and balance in export/import operations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
 
According to the head of state, Belarus wants to have as warm and friendly relations with Turkey as with Russia. Why not? You have very good relations with Russia now. Why should our relations be worse or have a lower profile. This should not be the case. Together with President Erdogan we will raise the level of our relations so that they will even outmatch your relations with the Russian Federation. Over the years we have identified the points of contact, the positions we should work on today. We are determined to do it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The head of state added that Belarus and Turkey have many common interests, including in the IT sector, technology, chemical and petrochemical industries, and automotive engineering.

“Turkey is a big country. You need our equipment: forage and grain harvesters, heavy trucks of up to 500 tonnes (we produce such haulers), medium and light vehicles, MTZ tractors. We have already branched out into Turkey, started setting up trading houses and service centers. Our equipment is advanced. Even in the area of military and technical cooperation, despite the fact that you are a NATO member and we belong to another military and political bloc, the CSTO, we have found areas of common interest to cooperate,” said the president.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized friendly relations with the Turkish leader. "We call each other brothers. It was Recep Erdogan’s initiative. I call him my friend. After certain events that Turkey has gone through (I will not specify them) and in which I was involuntarily involved most of all on the request of my friend Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we have become even closer to each other,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

“We understand and support each other on all international platforms. We are building very good relations between the powerful, rich Turkey and Belarus, a very important country here, in the north. We have no closed topics for cooperation, and therefore our relations are very close and very friendly,” the Belarusian leader said.

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