Syria - Lukashenko: Belarusian People Hopeful about President al-Assad's Upcoming Visit

President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus said his country welcomes President Bashar al-Assad's forthcoming visit to Belarus, describing the event as "historic", the Syrian al-Watan daily newspaper quoted President Lukashenko as saying in an exclusive interview.

President al-Assad will pay a 2-day official visit to Belarus, during which he will discuss with President Lukashenko and senior officials bilateral relations and the latest developments in the Middle East and Europe.

"Belarusian people are very hopeful that President al-Assad's visit would push forward the developing relations between Syria and Belarus," President Lukashenko said in the interview published on Sunday.

The Belarusian President pointed out that over the past two years a new dynamism has emerged in the trade and economic relations between both countries, adding that President al-Assad has been very precise concerning the implementation of all the agreements reached.

Lukashenko called for intensifying communications among business sectors in the two countries to move from simple trade to industrial cooperation and huge joint projects.

He showed his country's interest in Syria's proposal of executing a railway network linking Eastern and Western Europe with the Middle East, with the participation of Syria and Belarus.

He also hailed Syria as "a key country in the Arab world with a successful social economic model", referring to the similarity in the process of economic and social development and economic reforms going on in the two countries.

The Belarusian President said achieving comprehensive peace in the Middle East is connected to implementing the land-for-peace formula and the relevant UN resolutions, particularly those related to Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Syrian Golan.

"Both Damascus and Minsk defend the idea of a multi-polar world," President Lukashneko told al-Watan, reiterating support for a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov told SANA that during President al-Assad's forthcoming visit to Belarus a package of agreements will be signed on cooperation in various trade and economic fields.

Martynov referred to a number of projects that are being prepared in the field of machinery industry, including a project to enable Syria to use the Belarusian technology in assembling buses and trucks inside Syria to be exported to other countries.

He hailed Syria's key role in the efforts to achieve a just and comprehensive peace based on the relevant resolutions of the UN and the Security Council.

"Syria and Belarus share common views in their rejection of foreign pressures, and commitment to independent way to go," said the Belarusian Foreign Minister, stressing his country's support for establishing a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East.


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