09/28/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/28/2023 08:29
Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has received credentials from ambassadors of 11 countries.
These countries are Kazakhstan, Hungary, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Uganda, Cambodia, the Philippines, Jordan and Colombia.
Aleksandr Lukashenko welcomed the diplomats on the beautiful, friendly and hospitable Belarusian soil: "I hope that your diplomatic work will bring our nations closer and help build truly friendly interstate relations."
According to the President, the ambassadors are embarking on their mission in a very difficult period: "Today a new structure of international relations is emerging and it is steadily moving towards multipolarity. This process is irreversible, no matter how much someone would like it otherwise. We are witnessing the rise of what I see as a more fair and reasonable model of interaction between all nations, and not only privilaged states, on the principles of respect and partnership."
Following the established tradition, the President briefly commented on the state of Belarus' interaction with the countries represented by the diplomats.
Aleksandr Lukashenko called Kazakhstan a fraternal state, a strategic partner and ally. "We have common history, robust trade and humanitarian ties. No topic is off limits for discussion due to friendly relations between the two heads of state. We will be happy to see President Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev [in Belarus] this year to discuss a wide range of topics on the bilateral and international agendas," the President said.
"Hungary is a long-standing and reliable friend of Belarus. Our relations have passed the test of time and are based on pragmatism and mutual respect," Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
He highlighted Budapest's proposals and initiatives on security and confidence-building measures in Europe. "We are ready to continue the dialogue with Hungary in order to de-escalate tensions in the region by resolving controversial issues through peace talks," the Belarusian leader said.
The President noted that a rather big group of ambassadors from African countries was present at the ceremony. He said: "We view this as an eloquent demonstration of the mutual interest in each other."
Aleksandr Lukashenko assured that Belarus is interested in equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with these African countries: "I invite you to come to Belarus as often as possible, to bring official delegations and representatives of the business community. You are always welcome here. We believe in your continent and have high hopes for it."
Addressing the ambassador of Egypt, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he was sincerely glad to see in Minsk the ambassador of the country that is one of Belarus' key partners in North Africa. "We maintain good personal contacts with President el-Sisi, we run joint economic projects," said the Belarusian leader. "We look forward to extending our reach to other African countries and expanding our presence in the Eurasian Economic Union," he added.
Welcoming Zimbabwe's first ambassador to Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that cooperation with Harare is a poster child for Minsk's interaction with African countries.
"Together with President Mnangagwa, we have set very ambitious goals for the coming years. I am sure that the ambassador will make every effort to fully implement the agreements we have reached," said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
Speaking about cooperation with Equatorial Guinea, the Belarusian head of state recalled the recent visit of the President of this country to Minsk: "Our candid conversation confirmed that African states intend to stop being used solely as sources of raw materials, and to industrialize their economies. We will lend a helping hand to you in your efforts."
Since the implementation of the plans will require maintaining close contacts, Aleksandr Lukashenko expects the ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to be a frequent guest at Belarusian ministries and enterprises, and, if necessary, in the government and the Palace of Independence. "We are ready for this," said the head of state.
Belarus and Angola have a long history of relations, the President noted. He also outlined significant potential for growing bilateral trade and confirmed Belarus' interest in intensifying a political dialogue, cooperation in economy and other areas.
Aleksandr Lukashenko named Uganda one of Belarus' promising partners in Africa. "We could significantly increase trade, interact more actively in agriculture, healthcare, education, and personnel training," the head of state is convinced. "We are ready to supply our equipment and quality products. I am confident that the new ambassador will get actively involved in promoting cooperation in these and many other areas," the President said.
"While strengthening multifaceted cooperation with all countries of the world, Belarus continues to explore cooperation opportunities with countries of the East," the President noted.
According to him, one of Belarus' priority partners in Southeast Asia is the Kingdom of Cambodia: "We believe that everything is in place to step up cooperation in manufacturing, agriculture, and infrastructure upgrade."
"Despite the distance, we view the Republic of the Philippines as an important partner for our country," said Aleksandr Lukashenko. Belarus is ready to cooperate with Manila in food security and is willing to share its expertise and knowledge in creating agro-industrial holding companies that can both grow and process agricultural products.
The President emphasized Belarus' interest in establishing more partnerships in the Middle East. In this regard, he highlighted Jordan's well-deserved international authority and an important peacekeeping role in the region.
"Belarus shares your approaches. I strongly believe that our countries are able to step up their interaction in politics, economy, education, science, culture, tourism and other fields. This will benefit both states," he said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko called Colombia an important partner of Belarus in Latin America. Colombia is currently pursuing a more balanced and independent policy in international affairs.
"Minsk and Bogota are on the same page regarding illegitimate restrictions and the assessment of global developments. This opens up new opportunities to intensify dialogue at all levels, grow trade and expand interaction in other areas," the head of state is convinced.
Addressing the diplomats, the President stressed that the countries they represent have repeatedly experienced the effect of illegal restrictive measures by the West. Just like Belarus. "Therefore, we have consistently and persistently opposed any illegal restrictive measures that harm not so much us as the whole world," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The President cited a number of examples to illustrate his statement. Thus, sanctions against Belarusian potash fertilizers, agricultural products and equipment have seriously undermined the global food security, affected yields and food prices, while millions of people in the world are starving.
"I am sure that it is in our common interest to speak even louder about this problem and jointly seek the abolition of restrictions on trade, especially on vital commodities. Moreover, the answers to these challenges have already been found," the Belarusian leader said. "Now new settlement systems in national currencies are being actively formed, logistics is being rebuilt. These things are discussed in the SCO and BRICS. Everyone is tired of the U.S. control."
The President emphasized that Belarusians, despite all the difficulties and barriers created by the West, have not turned away from their path of development. The Belarusian economy is confidently back on the growth track.
Belarus is open to all people of good will. The country has waived visas for citizens of many countries. Despite Western restrictions, Belarus hosts a lot of remarkable international cultural and sports events.
All this reflects the true aspirations of our people and is, among other things, a response to those countries that mistreat migrants, tighten entry rules, create barriers, close checkpoints and threaten transport blockades, the President stressed.
According to him, in the current situation, the development of trusting and stable relations with friendly partners abroad is of particular importance for Belarus. "There are a lot of such partners around the world. You are evidence of this," the Belarusian leader said addressing the ambassadors.
The President recalled that 2023 has been declared the Year of Peace and Creation in Belarus. "I am convinced that you will be guided by these concepts in your work," he said. "I am sure that your stay here as official representatives of your states will be interesting, rich, and useful from a professional point of view. I would like to reiterate that there are no closed topics!"
Aleksandr Lukashenko promised that everything would be done in Belarus to help the foreign diplomats understand the country better, learn more of its history and culture and experience the fullness of its cordiality and hospitality. "From the bottom of my heart I wish you success in fulfilling your important and responsible mission," the head of state said at the end of the ceremony.