Lukashenko on Meeting with Saakashvili

Belarus President, Alexander Lukashenko, said that his recent meeting with the Georgian counterpart, Mikheil Saakashvili, in Crimea, Ukraine, "did not aim against anyone."

"We are not creating coalition with Georgia against any one," Belarus state news agency, BelTA, reported quoting Lukashenko as saying on July 16.

Saakashvili and Lukashenko met when the latter was in Yalta to take part in an informal summit of six CIS leaders on July 11.

Lukashenko said that it was a brief meeting, held upon the Georgian President's request and during which Saakashvili invited him to visit Georgia.

"There is no need to reproach us for carrying out this dialogue," Lukashenko said.

Saakashvili said on July 15 that he had "a lengthy conversation on issues of bilateral interest" during the meeting with Lukashenko.

"I think that no matter how different the countries might be and no matter how different our problems might be, dialogue in frames of [EU's] Eastern Partnership, as the first stage for our joint integration to the European Union, is very important," Saakashvili added.

Apart of Georgia and Belarus, EU's Eastern Partnership initiative also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Ukraine.

Lukashenko said on July 16, that it was EU which was more interested in having Belarus in Eastern Partnership, then Minks itself. He said, according to BelTA news agency, that if Belarus withdrew only GUAM - an organization formed by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova - would remain out of Eastern Partnership. The EU "does not want to have GUAM" instead of Eastern Partnership, Lukashenko said.


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