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Kazakhstan hailed as important and time-tested ally of Belarus

MINSK (BelTA) – Kazakhstan is an important and time-tested ally of Belarus, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during the talks with Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Minsk, BelTA has learned.

“The current visit is symbolic. This year we mark 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. During this period, we have become not just friends but major strategic and economic partners. Today I can say with confidence that Kazakhstan is an important and time-tested ally both in the format of bilateral relations and also in the integration associations and international organizations,” the Belarusian head of state noted.

Alexander Lukashenko said that the meeting with Nursultan Nazarbayev took place in a traditionally warm and friendly atmosphere.

According to him, Kazakhstan is one of the major trading partners of Belarus. In January-September 2017 the trade between the countries surged by almost 65% and amounted to $0.5 billion.

“There is a common interest to preserve and develop the positive momentum. I absolutely support Nursultan Abishevich when he said that the current level of trade between our countries is insufficient. It does not correspond to the potential of our states. I absolutely endorse his proposal to take stock of the specific product groups to identify the countries Kazakhstan and Belarus import from and see whether we can substitute these imports. We strive to bring the trade to more than $1 billion, as it once was,” the president noted.

Alexander Lukashenko also said that an agreement was reached with Kazakhstani partners to dynamically develop industrial cooperation, to intensify the work and set up new joint ventures in various sectors of the economy.

Great attention was paid to the ways of expanding transport and logistics infrastructure, which is very important given the geographical location of the countries that are located on the Silk Road economic belt. “We are transit countries, and we must do everything to harness this potential for the benefit of the Kazakh and Belarusian peoples,” the Belarusian leader stressed.