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Lukashenko: We should not close our eyes to conflicts in OSCE region

MINSK (BelTA) – We should not close our eyes to the problems which exist in the region of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli on 29 April, BelTA informs.

“Let's agree that there are a lot of problems in our common home, and we must solve them. These are Nagorno-Karabakh, Transnistria, other less urgent and resonant problems. There is also Ukraine,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president remarked that, perhaps, he criticizes the organization for weak responses to these problems too often, but the resolution of these problems is a priority for the OSCE. “First of all, the organization is responsible for security on the European continent, and it is absolutely inadmissible to ignore existing problems,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that there have not been any meetings between heads of state under the auspices of the OSCE for a long time. During those meetings the leaders could discuss current issues and try to find a way out from the situation. The last event of the kind took place in Astana in 2010, an even bigger conference took place in Istanbul in 1999.

“It was a strong conference. Unfortunately, the leaders have not gathered together since then. Therefore, there are a lot of problems, and they cannot be ignored. It is necessary to gather together and solve them. If the participants of the meeting did not manage to solve those problems, they will at least make plans, determine prospects. If not, what is the purpose of the organization?” the president said. “You can always count on our support, honesty and sincerity in all fields.”

George Tsereteli, in turn, thanked the Belarusian head of state for the organization of the 26th annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk in July 2017. He also pointed out a special nature of friendly and business relations with the chairmen of the chambers of the Belarusian parliament. “I met with Mr Andreichenko [chairman of the House of Representatives] for the third time. It symbolizes Belarus' proactivity in our organization, and we also want to work with the country,” George Tsereteli said.

He agreed with Aleksandr Lukashenko that there are pending issues in the OSCE region. “When your neighbors have problems, these are your problems. I agree with you that the OSCE is a very serious organization, and many countries, including Belarus, are doing a lot to strengthen it. We are grateful for it,” the president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly said.

George Tsereteli arrived in Minsk to take part in the International Parliamentary Conference of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Silk Road Support Group “Belt and Road: Strengthening cooperation for sustainable development and prosperity". Before the meeting with the head of state he held talks with Chairman of the House of Representatives Vladimir Andreichenko. George Tsereteli also plans to visit the industrial park Great Stone together with other participants of the conference.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Silk Road Support Group was founded at the 26th annual session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Minsk in July 2017. The group included 24 states. It was set up as a platform promoting mutually beneficial economic and trade ties through the development transport corridors, measures to simplify transportation and trade procedures, efforts to ensure free and safe movement of persons, goods, services and investments.

The Belarusian parliament maintains close cooperation with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and makes a practical contribution to its work. In different years Belarusian lawmakers initiated several resolutions which were passed by the organizations. These resolutions were aimed at promoting cooperation in the mitigation of the consequences of the Chernobyl accident, prevention of human trafficking, wider use of new sources of energy, development of the green economy, protection of social and economic rights, development of measures of response to the emergence of new hallucinogenic drugs, development of the digital economy.