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Opinions & Interviews

30 Oct 2019

Dapkiunas: Belarus-Turkey relations reach strategic partnership level

Dapkiunas: Belarus-Turkey relations reach strategic partnership level

MINSK, 30 October (BelTA) - Belarus-Turkey relations have reached the level of strategic partnership, Belarus’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Dapkiunas said as he spoke at a function held in Minsk on 29 October to mark Turkey’s Republic Day, BelTA has learned.

“Our relations have indeed reached the level of strategic partnership. Belarus and Turkey have been successfully cooperating on the international arena, have similar approaches on a number of topical issues,” said Andrei Dapkiunas. “Turkey is one of the main foreign political and economic partners of Belarus. Friendly contacts between the leaders of our countries and well-developed economic ties create a solid foundation for our further interaction,” the deputy minister said.

In his words, there have been many important events in bilateral relations this year, including the visit of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko to Turkey, which “without exaggeration opened a new stage in bilateral cooperation”.

“The current trade and economic relations make it possible for us to set very ambitious goals,” the deputy minister said. In 2018, mutual trade reached almost $1 billion. The goal for the coming years is to make it $1.5 billion. “It will clearly demand efforts from everybody: ministries, chambers of commerce, business associations, and most importantly, the business community of Belarus and Turkey. We see our task not only in the growth of trade, but also in creating conditions for major investment and cooperation projects. An important step in this direction was the opening of a joint venture in Turkey to produce tractors,” he added.

Andrei Dapkiunas emphasized the importance of personal contacts for the successful development of relations between the two countries. In this regard, he praised the personal role of Turkish Ambassador to Belarus Kezban Nilvana Darama. “She is the person who has filled the great political and economic plans with the strength of her soul within four years of her mission in the country,” he said.

The head of the Turkish diplomatic mission also noted a special level of cooperation between the countries. “International relations in the modern world are characterized by crises and conflicts. Therefore, we attach great importance to our model of cooperation with Belarus. Our dialogue is based on mutual understanding, mutual trust and respect. We serve the common interests of our states and peoples,” she stressed.

Economic ties are an important component of the relations between the two countries. Turkish companies have already established themselves well in the Belarusian market. According to the ambassador, Turkey’s telecommunication company Turkcell plans to expand its presence in the near future. Turkish airlines will increase the number of flights to Istanbul to 14 a week from 1 March, and to 20 a week from June.

Kezban Nilvana Darama stressed that she had spent four wonderful years in Belarus and is leaving the country in connection with the completion of her diplomatic mission with great love for the Belarusian people.

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