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Opinions & Interviews

11 Jan 2016

Skvortsov: Belarusian, Israeli diplomats will do their best to minimize impact of embassy shutdowns

MINSK, 11 January (BelTA) – Belarusian and Israeli diplomats will make every effort to minimize the impact of the mutual closure of the embassies, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Belarus to Israel Vladimir Skvortsov said in an interview with NEWSru.co.il, BelTA learned from the press service of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“We and our Israeli colleagues understand that everything should be done to keep the achieved level of cooperation and minimize the negative impact of the situation,” Vladimir Skvortsov said.

“At the same time, we realize that the closing of such an important channel of intergovernmental communication as embassies cannot but affect the bilateral cooperation in different areas,” the Ambassador added.

Vladimir Skvortsov believes that this move will hamper the cooperation between the business communities, deprive many people of the access to consular services, which are by far not limited to the issuance of visas, and create serious barriers to the protection of the interests of those people who may find themselves in an emergency situation when staying in the partner country.

A similar step had already been made by our Israeli partners for the same financial reasons back in 2003, Vladimir Skvortsov noted. However, back then the situation was reversed in less than a year and the diplomatic mission resumed its work. The Ambassador emphasized that Belarus is not the initiator of the current embassy shutdown, and neither it was in 2003. Belarus views this diplomatic move as a mistake and a failure to consider the facts.

“In these circumstances, Minsk sees no other option but to close its embassy in Tel Aviv following the principle of mutuality. We hope that the level of effective interaction and mutual understanding achieved in recent years between the two countries and the peoples, the considerable cooperation potential, and the attitude of the public and the media to this decision will be enough for our Israeli partners to once again reconsider it,” Vladimir Skvortsov added.

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