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Opinions & Interviews

8 Jun 2017

Belarus intends to be part of all integration processes in Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Belarus intends to be part of all integration processes in Shanghai Cooperation Organization

MINSK, 8 June (BelTA) - Belarus intends to take an active part in in all integration processes in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Belarus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told the media.

“There are many areas of cooperation, and Belarus would like to actively participate in all integration processes of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This is exactly what we are doing,” the minister said.

According to him, Belarus’ cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is developing progressively in various areas. “Economy and foreign economic cooperation are very important for us. The organization unites the countries that are of interest to us as the markets for our products, as partners in trade and economic cooperation,” Vladimir Makei said.

The most important thing is that no one in the SCO sets any conditions or claims. All are open to cooperation and this cooperation is not directed against any other countries,” Vladimir Makei said.

He noted that in part of economic interaction Belarus is particularly interested in transit, transport, and logistics. “The issues, which are discussed in the context of economic development in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, concur with our approaches to the Chinese Belt and Road initiative. Belarus could be a very important link in the concept and trade and economic cooperation in the organization,” the minister said.

The Belarusian side is also involved in the work on humanitarian issues, actively cooperates in law enforcement matters. “The Shanghai Cooperation Organization pays great attention to combating modern threats and challenges, which represent a threat to Belarus as well. These are terrorism, extremism, crime. The summit in Astana will adopt a number of documents aimed at combating these phenomena. We would like to be integral participants in these processes. Because, as the recent events in Europe have shown, no one is immune and that we must join our efforts to fight this evil,” Vladimir Makei said.

Vladimir Makei did not rule out the possibility that in the future the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may expand in terms of the number of members, will receive additional legal registration and become more structured. “Two new members, India and Pakistan, will become SCO members at the Astana summit. The number of permanent members will increase. I know that a number of other states who could be observers or dialogue partners show interest in this organization,” he said.

“This organization does not only discuss the existing problems but also seeks to find solution to them. It says a lot,” the Belarusian minister stressed.

When asked about Belarus’ willingness to become a full member of the organization, Vladimir Makei said: “Let’s not jump ahead. Let us prove ourselves in the status of observer first, and then we will see what happens.”

As BelTA reported, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko arrived in Kazakhstan on a working visit. Alexander Lukashenko will take part in the session of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In his speech at the summit the head of state will voice the position of the Belarusian side regarding the further development of the organization, including its economic dimension.

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