Extradition pact with Belarus

Diplomatic Correspondent

NEW DELHI : India and Belarus on Monday agreed to set up a joint commission on military-technical cooperation and signed an extradition treaty. A joint statement issued after talks between Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that Belarus, as a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), would continue to work with the participating NSG governments "in order to create conditions" to expand the framework of cooperation with India in the civilian nuclear field.

The two countries also signed a bilateral protocol on accession of Belarus to the WTO and an "executive programme" for cooperation in science and technology.

Belarus, which has a troubled relationship with the United States, concurred with India that it was important to respect the diversity of development models of different countries and "shared the view" that relations between states and cooperation among them "must be based on this approach."

"The two sides agreed that harmonious co-existence and democratisation of international relations contribute to the strengthening of global stability and security. Both sides fully support the establishment of a multipolar world order, which could guarantee progress, development, security and stability for all countries," the joint statement said.

"India acknowledged the policies followed by Belarus as a sovereign state and its model of development and supported Belarus' efforts aimed at protecting its sovereignty and national dignity and contributing to its social and economic development."

On regional conflicts, both sides agreed that political and diplomatic reconciliation should be achieved by adopting dialogue and negotiations "as a norm in inter-governmental relations".

As "responsible members" of the international community, both nations reiterated their commitment to the objective of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.