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Opinions & Interviews

23 Jan 2017

France viewed as one of Belarus’ most important partners

MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – Belarus views France as one of its most important partners and open for cooperation in a wide range of mutually beneficial areas, Head of the Europe Department at the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yevgeny Vorobyov said at the meeting held on 23 January to take stock of the internship program for Belarusian specialists at the French establishment, BelTA has learned.

The official stressed that the meeting celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Belarusian-French diplomatic relations. “We are grateful to France for the opportunity provided to the personnel of the Belarusian state organizations in enhancing qualifications and undergoing internship at the National School of Administration in France. The internship program was financed under the EU’s MOST program aimed at expanding professional contacts between citizens of Belarus and the EU. Belarus pays special attention to continuous professional growth of its civil servants, including with the help of positive foreign experience,” he noted.

Yevgeny Vorobyov believes that the potential for developing cooperation in the area with other countries, including France is still hugely untapped. The Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is ready to continue supporting initiatives of the kind.

The Head of the Europe Department at the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted that on 25 January Belarus and France will mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations. “Over the 25 years the Belarusian-French ties have considerably strengthened and expanded. Mutual interest continues increasing. Belarus has attached and continues attaching great significance to friendly and mutually respecting relations with France in every area,” said Yevgeny Vorobyov.

He added that Belarus and France have been maintaining an active political dialogue, both at the meetings between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and during ministerial consultations. In an open and trustworthy environment the two countries discuss a wide range of issues of the bilateral and international agenda.

Special attention is attached to economic cooperation with France. According to Yevgeny Vorobyov, the joint Belarusian-French commission on economic cooperation is in successful operation. Bilateral working groups on tourism and environmental protection have been instituted. The parties hold regular joint business forums, exchange business visits. A number of big investment projects of French companies are implemented in Belarus. The legal framework of the bilateral cooperation has been gradually expanding.

Belarus and France also continue developing regional cooperation which existed long before the diplomatic relations were established. Thus, Minsk-Lyon twinning ties are 40 years old.

Culture and education are considered to be a distinguishing feature of the Belarusian-French cooperation, the official said.

Yevgeny Vorobyov expressed confidence that the anniversary year will be a year of friendship, mutual interest and common movement towards new horizons for Belarus and France.

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