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Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations of Belarus and India, Belarus President, A.G. Lukashenko paid a state visit to India on 12th September 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the visit held extensive talks with the Belarus President to bring new momentum in the bilateral engagement. The discussions held between the two leaders were wide ranging and dynamic. While enhancing interaction in all aspects of cooperation, both the leaders exchanged views on bilateral issues and on regional and global developments.
“We decided to enhance the interaction in all aspects of cooperation. I found in President Lukashenko matching the enthusiasm and desire to scale up our partnership for the benefit of our people,” said PM Narendra Modi.
The talks held were in a liberal and convivial atmosphere where the two sides reviewed the present state of relations and ideas to expand the bilateral cooperation further. Both leaders discussed bilateral cooperation in defence & security, trade & investment, science & technology and people to people exchanges. They exchanged views and assessments on regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
The two countries have been at the doorstep of a new stage of cooperation. Taking this forward, President Lukashenko invited Indian investors to Belarus and said that his government is ready to provide them with the most favorable and ideal conditions for doing business.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his press statement also mentioned about India’s on-going negotiations with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for a free trade agreement. Belarus is a part of a five member-EEU, considered an influential central Asian bloc.
Asserting that President Lukashenko advocated and promoted the idea of a multi-polar world, he expressed the hope that India would become a “mightful pole” in the multi-polar world.
A stamp commemorating 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries was also released by India Post and postal department of Belarus. The two sides agreed to close cooperation on “matters of mutual interest” in multilateral fora.
Discussing the rich history of culture interactions between the people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “I was pleased to learn that many Belarusians take active interest in Indian culture, cuisine, films, music, dance, Yoga and Ayurveda.” The Prime Minister saw great potential to further foster development in tourism by easing the visa regime. India welcomed the February 2017 announcement by Belarus to include India among countries that will be allowed 5-day visa free travel.
Both the leaders concluded their talks by expressing readiness to establish in their respective countries, an environment based on the principle of understanding and mutual benefit. The President also mentioned the initiatives that Belarus is taking to create an “Indian-friendly environment” through cooperation with the Indian Diaspora. India welcomes the progression stating that the respective Diaspora could act like bridges to cement bilateral relations in all areas.
India and Belarus inked 10 pacts which aim at expanding bilateral ties and exploring joint development and manufacture of military platforms.