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Lukashenko holds meetings with foreign leaders on sidelines of SCO summit

BISHKEK (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko held a number of bilateral meetings with foreign leaders on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Bishkek on 14 June, BelTA informs.

Before the extended-participation meeting of the Heads of State Council the Belarus president discussed the international agenda with India Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The sides praised a high level of bilateral political and economic relations. In particular, they discussed trade and economic cooperation and 3-4 key projects which will eventually help advance this interaction. In this context, ministers of foreign affairs were instructed to work out such projects and engage the intergovernmental commission in the process. Aleksandr Lukashenko invited Narendra Modi to visit Belarus, and the invitation was accepted. The exact dates will be determined through diplomatic channels.

There was a meeting with Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani. It was mentioned that the previous agreements have not been implemented yet. In particular, the sides planned to bolster cooperation in the assembly of equipment, agricultural technologies (processing of farm produce), defense industries, particularly, supplies, modernization and repair. A decision was made to resume dialogue in these fields.

“An agreement was made to resume dialogue across the board. First of all, in the trade and economic cooperation, establishment of joint ventures. Afghanistan needs equipment to restore the country. This also pertains to cooperation in agriculture, technology exchange, opening of processing enterprises. The sides also discussed the possibility to bolster cooperation in military technology. This area is of much interest for Afghanistan,” Belarus' Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told reporters.

After the official part of the summit Aleksandr Lukashenko met with China President Xi Jinping and Russia President Vladimir Putin.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin briefly discussed the current state of affairs in cooperation. The Belarusian leader invited his Russian counterpart to attend the 2nd European Games. The presidents discussed the participation of Russian athletes in them. The sides also reaffirmed a previous agreement to meet and discuss the prospects of integration.

“The meeting with Vladimir Putin focused on the activities of the working group which was formed as a result of the conversations on advancing integration between our states. The work is done on a certain schedule. They are currently discussing proposals from both sides. The working group had a meeting in Moscow. In a couple of days, they will hold a corresponding joint meeting to discuss the remaining issues of concern. I think that the prime ministers will be informed about the results of this work in the near future. They, in turn, will report to the heads of state. So, the presidents discussed the progress in the work on our proposals as well as the bilateral cooperation in general,” Vladimir Makei said.

Using the opportunity, Aleksandr Lukashenko wished a happy belated National Day to Russia President Vladimir Putin.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Xi Jinping discussed an international forum which will take place at the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park Great Stone in July 2019. They also focused on investment projects.

The leaders of Belarus and China exchanged presents. Aleksandr Lukashenko presented a bronze stork sculpture to his Chinese counterpart. This graceful bird is a frequent image in the Belarusian and Chinese art. It is a symbol of wisdom and longevity, a messenger of happiness and wellbeing. A stork is also a symbol of peace and harmony. Another traditional gift is a basket with Belarusian foodstuffs. By the way, Xi Jinping will celebrate his birthday on 15 June.

During the meeting with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev it was mentioned that the sides are implementing many projects. The heads of state agreed to step up corresponding efforts. These and other issues will be in the spotlight during the forthcoming visit of the Uzbekistani leader to Belarus.

Apart from that, Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon.

“The meeting with the president of Tajikistan focused on the preparations for Emomali Rahmon's visit to Belarus. He plans to attend the closing ceremony of the 2nd European Games during his official visit to Belarus. We also have joint mutually beneficial projects with Tajikistan,” the minister said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also discussed a bilateral agenda with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. “We have established very good relations with Pakistan. These relations have their roots in the cooperation between the USSR and Pakistan,” the Belarusian leader remarked.

He stressed that Belarus and Pakistan have a number of joint projects, but the process of economic and trade cooperation has slowed down a bit due to certain reasons. “Both Belarus and Pakistan have a huge interest in cooperation. We can sell many things to each other. We are ready to share technologies and set up joint ventures on the territory of Pakistan in accordance with our agreements,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The president invited the prime minister of Pakistan to pay a visit to Belarus at any convenient time. “You will like it, I promise,” he said.

Imran Khan, in turn, agreed that the process of rapprochement and enhancement of relations in the economic and other fields has slowed down to a certain extent or has even been frozen. “Large-scale transformations are going on in our country. We are fully rethinking the process of state administration, we are making the country more open. Pakistan is changing, and I hope that these changes will help us restore our relations, make them more productive and solid,” he said.

Vladimir Makei remarked that the head of state had a busy negotiations schedule on the sidelines of the SCO summit. “Indeed, there was a marathon of meetings for the Belarusian head of state in Kyrgyzstan today,” he said.