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Opinions & Interviews

16 Jun 2016

Economic development, regional security named CEI priorities for coming years

Economic development, regional security named CEI priorities for coming years

MINSK, 16 June (BelTA) – Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei called for economic development and regional security to be the priorities of the Central European Initiative (CEI) in the coming years, BelTA learnt from the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Belarusian minister made the statement at the plenary session of the Annual Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CEI Member States in Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). “We believe that in the current conditions the CEI activity should be mainly focused on supporting sustainable economic development and building mutual relations between our countries as the main preconditions for regional security, stability and unity. We hope that the abovementioned priorities will be reflected in the CEI’s new action plan for 2017-2020 that will consolidate the main areas of the Organization’s activity in the foreseeable future,” Vladimir Makei was cited as saying.

The minister stressed the significance of the CEI as an instrumental and meaningful platform for dialogue and cooperation development. The Organization has accumulated vast experience in advancing pragmatic cooperation in such areas as transport, energy efficiency, agriculture, scientific research. It has also made a considerable contribution to the intercultural dialogue and contacts between people. “We should build further on these achievements,” Vladimir Makei said.

In his words, the CEI should continue playing the role of a bridge between different integration platforms. “Today the Organization unites the countries of the European Union, Western Balkans and Eastern Europe for the idea of the united, peaceful and strong Europe,” the minister noted. He welcomed new agreements on cooperation of the CEI with the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Energy Community, the International Center for Migration Policy Development and the International Anti-Corruption Academy.

“Belarus supports consistent efforts of the CEI’s international expansion through closer cooperation with other international, regional and sub-regional organizations. Belarus suggests more active cooperation with the developing associations in Eastern Europe, such as the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Eurasian Economic Union. We are convinced that it not only meets our common economic interests but will also help the CEI make its contribution to the development of dialogue and cooperation between various integration platforms on the continent,” Vladimir Makei said.

Belarus will take over the CEI Presidency in 2017. The Organization was founded in 1989 by Italy, Austria, Hungary and Yugoslavia. Today the CEI unites 18 countries (Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Ukraine). Belarus joined the CEI in 1996.

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