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Lukashenko plans to visit Turkey in April

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is going to pay an official visit to Turkey in April. The head of state made the statement at the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkey to Belarus Kezban Nilvana Darama on 18 March, BelTA informs.

“We have met not only because I deeply respect your country and you as a good representative of Turkey in Belarus. There is also a practical side: as far as you know, in mid-April we will have a top-level official visit to Turkey, and the meeting with your president. Therefore, today we need to discuss a number of aspects,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The session of the Belarusian-Turkish intergovernmental commission will take place in the near future. The head of state believes that it will produce good results in the run-up to his talks with Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the president, the today's meeting with the ambassador is the first step in the preparations for the visit.

“So let's discuss existing issues and problems,” Alexander Lukashenko said. “All good things are visible, it is a pleasure to talk about them. Nevertheless, certain problems always exist, and we need to solve them. Otherwise, it would be unnecessary to meet, hold talks if everything was good. We must address pending issues. I would like us to discuss those problems which, in your opinion, could be solved today, tomorrow and in the long run in an open manner.”

The ambassador said that she would like to discuss a number of issues with the president. She also believes that this meeting is the stage in the preparations for the talks of the heads of state. “We do not see problems in the relations between our countries and are proud of that,” the diplomat stressed.

The trade turnover between the two countries reached $984 million last year (up 5% from the level of 2017). However, Belarus' trade deficit made up $618 million.

Belarus' major exports are potash fertilizers, nitrile compounds, synthetic treads, linen fabrics, polycarboxylic acids, plain steel wires, cordwood, newsprint. Turkey exports farm produce, textiles and fabrics, synthetic threads, footwear and clothes, parts and components for automobile and tractor equipment to Belarus.

In 2018 Turkey invested $43.1 million in the Belarusian economy. More than 300 enterprises with the Turkish capital are registered in Belarus. The countries are mulling over the opening of assembly plants for Gomselmash harvesters and Amkodor equipment, the delivery of BelAZ products to the Turkish market.