From Abid Usman
LAHORE: Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif Wednesday said that Pakistan greatly valued its cordial and broad-based relations with Belarus.
The prime minister also affirmed Pakistan’s commitment towards building mutually beneficial cooperation with Bela-rus in all areas, including economic, agriculture, science and technology, information technology, education and culture domains.
The prime minister received Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.
Foreign Minister Aleinik conveyed the warm greetings of President Lukashenko to the prime minister, while highlight-ing that Belarus regarded Pakistan as an important country in the region and appreciated its efforts to promote re-gional peace and stability.
The prime minister also briefed the foreign minister on the human rights violations by India in the Indian Illegally Occu-pied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Noting that Pakistan and Belarus would be commemorating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplo-matic relations in 2024, the prime minister welcomed continued high-level exchanges and engagement.
In this regard, he also reiterated his invitation to the Belarusian president to undertake a visit to Pakistan, at his earliest convenience.
Tuesday, Addressing a joint presser with visiting Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik, the foreign minister said they held a very fruitful and constructive meeting, and discussed entire areas of cooperation between the two coun-tries.
“Our long term goals for Pak-Belarus relations include strengthening of the economic ties, expanding of trade and in-vestment, fostering of scientific collaboration, enhancing of defence cooperation and increasing the cultural and deepening of the people-to-people contacts,” he added.
Foreign Minister Bilawal further said that both countries strived to build a mutually beneficial relationship that could contribute to the prosperity and well-being of the people of the two countries.
He said they had agreed to taking of the practical steps to transform the goodwill between the people of the two countries into a tangible cooperation.
One key outcome of the visit, he said, was the signing of the agreement between the two countries for abolition of the visas for the holders of the diplomatic and official passports which would boost high level visits.
An agreement between Islamabad Strategic Institute and the Belarus Institute would lay strong foundation for educa-tional cooperation, he added.
The foreign minister said they would build further on the discussion held during the 6th ministerial meeting.
Bilawal further said that in the year 2024, both the countries would be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the estab-lishment of their diplomatic relationship.
The foreign minister expressed his confidence to further strengthen the core of their bilateral relationship and move forward in further fostering of the mutually beneficial friendship between Pakistan and Belarus.
Foreign Minister of Belarus Sergei Aleinik expressing gratitude to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari for extending an invitation, said they held a meeting in a very constructive and very frank manner in which both sides agreed to fur-ther building of ties between the two countries.
Despite geographical and global changes, it was the desire of the two countries to build on the mutually beneficial ties.
He said they were considering further investment in Pakistan by setting up vehicles and tractor manufacturing factory.
The Belarusian minister said Pakistan was a reliable partner in the South Asia and in the Muslim world, and it had been the consistent policy of the Government of Belarus to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.
This desire was further fostered by the leadership of the two countries, he added.
He also commended the Government of Pakistan to strengthen its economy and enhance its image at the world level.
The minister said Belarus was defending its sovereignty and independence of the foreign policy in the face of different pressures and was opposed to any kind of interference into the internal matters of sovereign states.
He also expressed gratitude to Pakistan for its support to Belarus at the international fora.
He said they had discussed the whole spectrum of cooperation and expressed satisfaction on unity of views on the global issues.
The Belarusian minister further said trade and economic cooperation were the major areas of their focus during their dialogue.