Belarus President Lukashenko lauds India's role in world arena

From our ANI Correspondent

New Delhi, Apr 16: Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday lauded India's role in dealing with international issues.

In view of the huge economic and human potential of India, major international issues in the present world cannot be dealt with without India's presence, said Lukashenko, who is on two-day state visit to India.

Lukashenko further said that for Belarus it was an honour to be partners with India.

Earlier today, Lukashenko, who arrived on Sunday night, was accorded a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Thereafter, Lukashenko laid a floral wreath at Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.

Lukashenko is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat later today.

He will also meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and will review bilateral relations and discuss issues of international and mutual interest.

Several bilateral agreements are expected to be signed in the areas of science and technology, agriculture and extradition. A bilateral protocol on the accession of Belarus to the WTO is also expected to be signed.

The focus of his discussions will be to boost scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries.

Lukashenko will also meet President A P J Abdul Kalam in the evening.

Lukashenko is accompanied by a high level delegation consisting of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Martynov, Minister of Interior Vladimir Naumov, Minister of Industry Anatoly Rusetsky, Minister of Justice Viktor Golovanov, Minister of Taxation Anna Deiko, Chairman of State Military and Industrial Committee Nikolai Azamatov, Chairman of State Committee for Science and Technology Vladimir Matyushkov and National Security Advisor Victor Lukashenko.

Lukashenko had earlier paid a state visit to India in 1997.

India and Belarus are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. India was one of the first countries to recognise Belarus as an independent country after the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.In turn, the Republic of Belarus has been supportive of India's candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded United Nations Security Council.