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Belarus confirms interest in tighter cooperation with African states

10 new ambassadors presented their credentials to Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko December 12. The ceremony symbolizes the official start of diplomats' duties in Belarus. This time, taking part in the ceremony were ambassadors of Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Ecuador and Estonia.  

Credentials are formal requests of heads of other states asking the Belarusian President to accord full credence to diplomats' official statements. 

Some copies and originals of credentials are available in the Museum of Belarusian Statehood.

By the way, the presentation of credentials is one of the most rigorous procedures of diplomatic protocol. Every detail is important. 

The ambassadors came to today's ceremony from several continents. The Belarus President reiterated that the country supports equal cooperation between all states.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President: 
Belarus fully supports equal cooperation between countries, devoid of pressure and coercion. We advocate for the abolition of any sanctions because they directly affect the living standards of ordinary people.
The complexity of the current situation and the reduction of the role of international organizations in solving the world's problems underline the importance of bilateral relations, friendship and constructive cooperation between states. Our country is ready to act in this direction. I hope that your work will help to strengthen the mutually beneficial relations between Belarus and the countries from which you came.

Six ambassadors out of 10 have a concurrent accreditation in Belarus. They also work in Ukraine or Russia. Portugal and Bulgaria are among representatives of the EU, the union, with which Belarus is developing both economic and political cooperation. Bulgaria is Belarus' most important partner in South-Eastern Europe. Tourism is one of the key areas of collaboration between the two nations.

Angel Ganev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to the Republic of Belarus:
Bulgaria is very popular with your citizens. I can say that this summer about 150,000 Belarusians visited Bulgaria and were very pleased with our country.  

Belarus follows the developments in Syria and supports all efforts aiming to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan. Belarus is also interested in Latin American market.  Ecuador's economy is similar to that of Venezuela.  Cooperation between the two states is developing. The October 2013 visit of Rafael Correa Delgado to Belarus is a recent milestone.  Large industrial giants of the two countries have repeatedly talked about joint projects. The recent agreement on mutual abolition of visas should help remove economic barriers. This is the first diplomatic representative of Ecuador in Belarus.

Carlos Humberto Larrea Davila, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Ecuador to the Republic of Belarus:
I am very happy to be an ambassador of Ecuador in your state. Scientific and technical cooperation is particularly important for my country. We would also like to share experience in other areas, especially because Alexander Lukashenko and Rafael Correa Delgado reached a lot of agreements during their last meeting. Oil extraction and processing of raw materials would also be promising.

Congo and Mozambique represent Africa. Belarus does not have a significant experience in developing diplomatic relations with these countries. However the sides have already chosen priorities. Among them are engineering and agriculture. Belarus and Egypt have nearly 30 international treaties.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President: 
Belarus confirms its interest for increased cooperation with African countries. Their importance in world politics and economy is increasing.
We must do everything necessary to restore a full-fledged cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt. This is not only an economic and political partner of Belarus, but also one of our most important strategic points on the African continent.
We think the presentation of credentials by the ambassador of the Republic of the Congo is a good opportunity to establish and develop cooperation in a range of areas. Cooperation with the Republic of Mozambique is also promising. The year 2014 was a good start to our bilateral dialogue.

After the official part, the Belarusian head of state talked to diplomats in person. Particular attention was paid to South Asian partners. In particular, to Pakistan.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President: 
We attach great importance to restoring relations with Pakistan. I think we will do it in 2015.  We also look forward to cooperation with Afghanistan, though we do not set any conditions. Pakistan is a powerful country. We are ready to cooperate with you.    

The President greeted the ambassador of Belarus' long-term partner - Estonia. Mait Martinson came to Belarus from Ireland. Before that, he worked in China. 

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President: 
The fact that we have no common borders with Estonia (unlike with other Baltic States) does not mean that we don't have common interests. We know each other well. I think if we talk honestly, we will find possible areas of cooperation. I'd like this to happen.