Belarus wants to improve relations with the United States, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko today told the new U.S. ambassador to Belarus, Karen Stewart, AP reports.
Lukashenko said Minsk wants an "open and constructive" dialogue with Washington on the basis of "equality, mutual respect, and consideration" of each other's interests."
"The differences in views on a number of problems should not stand in the way of steps to bolster joint efforts in areas where our approaches coincide," he was quoted by Interfax as saying.
Lukashenko said that he hoped Stewart, whom the president credited with knowing Belarus well and having extensive experience, would help broaden "mutually beneficial and respectful relations between our countries."
The United States has dubbed Lukashenko "Europe's last dictator". The Belarusian leader has repeatedly accused the Washington of seeking his ouster.
However the United States is the biggest source of foreign investment in Belarus. Trade with the United States accounts for about 3 percent of Belarus' foreign trade, Xinhua adds.