Belarusian President Identifies Partners In 'Multifaceted' Foreign Policy

President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in his annual address to the National Assembly on April 24 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," April 24, 2007) that Belarus will pursue a "dynamic, multifaceted foreign policy" while not changing its strategic course for integration with Russia, Belarusian Television reported. "Belarus is involved actively in international trade and bilateral relations with many countries, and that has a direct impact on the condition of our domestic markets and the social and economic spheres," he added. Lukashenka said China still remains Belarus's "leading ally" in the international arena. "Bilateral trade turnover [with China] reached almost $1 billion in 2006, but this is far from being the limit.... [And] there's one more reason why our partnership with China is promising for Belarus. In the context of establishing a set of transport corridors between East Asia and Europe, our country is certainly interested in becoming a reliable link of the economic system of Eurasian significance," Lukashenka said. He also stressed the importance of Belarus's relations with Nonaligned Movement countries. "We have, at the highest level, ploughed up half of the states of the Nonaligned Movement.... India, Venezuela, Iran, and Oman are ready to cooperate with us and already cooperate in the form of strategic partnership," Lukashenka noted. JM