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New stage in Belarus-Azerbaijan relations

MINSK (BelTA) - The presidents of Belarus and Azerbaijan, Alexander Lukashenko and Ilham Aliyev, issued a joint statement following the talks in Minsk. The document points to the transition to a qualitatively new level of the relations of friendship and cooperation that meets the realities of the 21st century, BelTA has learned.

The heads of state are confident that the further strengthening of friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between Belarus and Azerbaijan is in the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries.

The joint statement reflects common approaches to a number of foreign policy issues and mutual support in the international arena. It also pays considerable attention to the main areas of economic cooperation both in bilateral and multilateral formats. In particular, the parties expressed their willingness to develop and strengthen cooperation in the field of transportation and logistics, communications and to contribute to the development of an enabling environment for the implementation of transport operations, including within the framework of the Silk Road economic belt, the international corridor North-South and other transit routes.

Belarus and Azerbaijan will also contribute to the realization of the economic potential of the two countries, increase mutual trade, bolster ties in the machine-building sector, construction, agriculture and food industries, and other industries, including innovations. In addition, the parties support the further development of interaction between financial and banking institutions, implementation of joint investment projects, direct cooperation at the level of regions and businesses.

“The parties shall contribute to the preservation of spiritual and cultural closeness of the peoples of the two countries, deepen cooperation in science, education and culture, and also in high technology, healthcare, and tourism,” reads the joint statement.

Ilham Aliyev expressed appreciation for the hospitality and warm reception and invited Alexander Lukashenko to travel to Azerbaijan on an official visit.

The heads of state were present at the ceremony to sign a number of bilateral documents. These include an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in migration, an agreement on cooperation between the prosecutor general's offices of the two countries, an agreement on cooperation in the forensic expertise between the State Forensic Examination Committee of Belarus and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Azerbaijan.

An agreement was also concluded between the Agriculture and Food Ministry of Belarus and the Ministry of Agriculture of Azerbaijan to step up cooperation in the agriculture and food sector.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Labor and Social Security Ministry of Belarus and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of Population of Azerbaijan on cooperation in labor, employment and social security.

Another memorandum of understanding was signed between the State Military Industrial Committee of Belarus and the Ministry of Defense of Azerbaijan on bilateral cooperation in the supply of weapons and air defense equipment.

Signatures were put on the protocol of intention to develop cooperation in ICT between the Ministry of Communication and Informatization of Belarus and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies of Azerbaijan.

A plan of action for 2019-2021 was signed to implement the agreement on cooperation between the Belarusian Emergencies Ministry and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Azerbaijan of 17 October 2006.

The first-day-of-issue ceremony of the joint postal project of Belarus and Azerbaijan marked 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.