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Opinions & Interviews

20 Dec 2016

Makei: Belarus views Georgia as friend, hopes to expand cooperation

Makei: Belarus views Georgia as friend, hopes to expand cooperation

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) – Belarus views Georgia as one of its friends and hopes for further advancement of bilateral cooperation, Belarus Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei said after the meeting with his Georgian counterpart Mikheil Janelidze on 20 December, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Vladimir Makei named the meeting a logic continuation of the contacts that the two countries have already established at the high and supreme levels. “Today we have discussed a wide range of issues related to the Belarusian-Georgian cooperation and shared opinions on collaboration in international organizations,” the minister said.

He hailed the progress made in the bilateral trade and economic cooperation. “This year our mutual trade has soared by 70%. The number of Belarusian tourists, who visit you great country both in summer and winter, went up by 30%. This shows that we are moving in the right direction. We are determined to continue advancing our trade and economic contacts in all the areas,” Vladimir Makei noted.

As for the humanitarian area, the minister said that there are plans to hold Culture Days of Belarus in Georgia in 2017. “Georgia and the Georgian people are very popular in Belarus. Some two months ago Minsk played host to the Tbilisoba festival. The event was visited by more than 20,000 people to came to learn things about Georgia’s rich traditions and tasty national cuisine,” the Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs said.

Vladimir Makei also said that the parties discussed the situation in the region. “Not long ago we met in Hamburg at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting. Unfortunately, despite the demonstrated readiness of the high and mighties to advance cooperation, the aggressive rhetoric between the superpowers and open opposition remain in place. We, small states that cannot influence the geopolitical processes, suffer from it,” he said. The minister stressed that in this case the major goal is in strengthening bilateral friendly ties and talking to big countries in order to make the point heard.

The parties agreed on close cooperation in a number of issues related to collaboration on international platforms. “I think we have thorough understanding here. We consider Georgia an absolutely friendly state for us. The official opening of our embassy shows that we have come here to stay,” Vladimir Makei said.

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