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Lukashenko: Belarus, Uzbekistan renew relations over past two years

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus and Uzbekistan have renewed the bilateral relations in the past two years, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with his Uzbekistan president Shavkat Mirziyoyev one-on-one on 1 August, BelTA has learned.

“We are happy to welcome you here. Over the past two years we have fully renewed our relations. Actually we have created them anew. Over the past two years we have achieved much more than we did over the last 25 years of our relations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

According to the president, the trade between the two countries (almost $160 million in 2018) does not meet the potential. He is confident that Belarus and Uzbekistan have big opportunities in the area.

On the eve the heads of state held a meeting at the Zaslavl state residence. Aleksandr Lukashenko revealed some details about the informal negotiations: “We were planning to dine at my home yesterday but instead devoted more than half of the time to our relations and particularly to the role of Uzbekistan and Belarus in the modern world, the developments happening around our states. To our surprise, we found absolutely similar trends: you are in the heart of Central Asia, we are at the center of Europe. Hence our advantages and our problems. We paid great attention to them yesterday.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that interregional cooperation is the major item on the agenda of the Uzbekistan president's visit to Belarus. The parties have exchanged many visits at the regional level, organized a forum, an exhibition of Uzbek products, and the Culture Days of Uzbekistan. A monument to Uzbek poet Alisher Navaiy was unveiled in Minsk on 29 July.

“All this creates serious content in our relations. It is important that the regional governors met each other and already signed a lot of agreements. Our job is to give a green light to business, which we did. Now the focus is on the implementation of the roadmap which was adopted by the governments of Uzbekistan and Belarus,” the president said.

During the meeting, the heads of state are set to discuss not only the advances in bilateral cooperation but also the shortcomings. “There are no closed topics in Belarus. There are no issues that we cannot solve. We can solve any matters together. Our economies do not compete with each other. They are complementary. The goods that we manufacture will find their customers in Uzbekistan. Everything that you produce will be in demand here. I think, we will have our place in the industrial and agricultural revolution that you have started in Uzbekistan,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.