MINSK: President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko Monday lauded Pakistan’s role and efforts in bringing peace and stability to the world by countering terrorism and offered his country’s full support in this fight.
Addressing a joint press stake-out along with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the conclusion of their talks and inking and exchange of 18 agreements, President Lukashenko said his country was ready to jointly fight with Pakistan against extremism, terrorism, illegal trafficking of people, drugs and weapons.
He said that Pakistan with its huge population was the sixth largest country in the world and had its impact on many issues. “l appreciated the country’s efforts against those who are trying to bring destability in the region and the world.”
He lauded Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his ability to take quick decisions and said a lot of work had been put in to ensure the success of this visit.
“We are not meeting here as heads of government, but are here as friends,” he said and termed Nawaz Sharif not only a leader of Pakistan, but also a leader of the region.
The President spoke as the Pakistan and Belarus Monday made significant progress in exploring new avenues of cooperation, following the talks.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sahrif termed the talks “productive” and said the two sides discussed relations in all spheres. He said the focus of the talks was on trade, industry, agriculture, investment, culture and education.
“We also discussed regional and global issues and confirmed our willingness to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism and narcotics,” Prime Minister Sharif told the reporters.
President Lukashenko said the Prime Minister gave him detailed information about the situation in the region and efforts to have better ties with its neighbours.
The Prime Minister, who is here on a three-day official visit earlier, had an exclusive meeting with the President of Belarus that was followed by a round of delegation level talks.
Nawaz Sharif said,”We have agreed on several new initiatives which I am positive will add further substance to our existing ties.”
He said both countries have agreed to work together for the shared objective of peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.
Referring to the signing of many important agreements and MoUs witnessed both by Prime Minister Sharif and President Lukashenko, he said these would provide a structured framework for future collaboration.
The Prime Minister also referred to the 20 MoUs and the Islamabad Declaration signed during President Lukashenko’s visit to Islamabad. He said these laid the edifice of strong relations between the two countries and there had been good progress on different aspects since then.
The Prime Minister said he was impressed to see the development Belarus has made in its industrial and agricultural sectors in the recent few years.
Prime Minister said Pakistan attaches great importance to its relations with Belarus, which have been on an upward trajectory since last year.
“The dynamic leadership of President Lukashenko has propelled this relationship to new heights,” he said.
President Lukashenko said the two countries have formed contractual basis for forging the way ahead. He said the Pakistan Belarus Joint Commission needs to work to chart out a roadmap for short and long term development.
He said Belarus can seek help from Pakistan in pharmaceuticals, agriculture and textiles. He also offered his country’s assistance in projects in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan had a sizeable industrial and agricultural base, and he was positive that working together, “we can unlock the vast potential of mutually beneficial cooperation.”
He hoped the Pakistan-Belarus Business Forum would benefit the entrepreneurs of both the countries.
He said being an investor friendly country, Pakistan provides an excellent environment for foreign investors. He said he was confident that Pakistan-Belarus joint ventures in various sectors would soon materialise.
Referring to the historic visit by President Lukashenko to Pakistan in May, he said it provided “solid foundation” for enhancement and consolidation of bilateral relations in diverse fields.
The Prime Minister said the decision to open Pakistan’s Embassy in Minsk was also taken during President Lukashenko’s visit. He expressed satisfaction that both the countries have opened their resident Missions at Ambassadorial level in the two capitals in a short span of time.
“I am confident that this important initiative by both countries would further fortify our existing relations.”
The Prime Minister also referred to the rich cultural heritage of Pakistan and mentioned the holding of a Pakistani film festival in Minsk. He also spoke about the exhibition of king of fruits -“Mango” that coincides with his visit to the country.
“I am positive that the future holds promise of even more meaningful cooperation between our governments and our peoples.”
The Prime Minister thanked President Lukashenko, the Government and people of Belarus, for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.
President Lukashenko congratulated the people of Pakistan on its independence day on August 14 and said the people of Belarus would be with them on this joyous occasion.
“We are friends and are always ready to help you,” he added.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he was delighted to be in this historic and beautiful city and expressed gratitude for the warmth and cordiality extended to him and his delegation.
“This has made my stay in Minsk, truly memorable,” the Prime Minister said and concluded with the slogan of Long live Pakistan-Belarus Friendship. –APP