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Belarus open to equal cooperation with West, USA and EU, Alexander Lukashenko says

Alexander Lukashenko has taken office as President of Belarus. The ceremony was held at the Palace of Independence November 6.

According to the protocol, soldiers of the guard of honor brought to the Hall of Ceremonies the flag, the banner and the Constitution, after which Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in. The Chairwoman of the Central Election Commission handed him a certificate of the President of the Republic of Belarus. The President was congratulated by the chairmen of the Council of the Republic and the Constitutional Court.

By his choice the Belarusian people demonstrated once again that the nation is strong in its unity and the faith in their leader. Alexander Lukashenko, in turn, stressed that people with their voices had expressed commitment to the current domestic and foreign policy.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I am overwhelmed with pride for our close-knit society of millions of fellow citizens in our free Belarus. During the last election campaign our people once again demonstrated to the world the highest political culture and unity in the face of external challenges and independent judgments. We remained united in the past and this will be the case in the future, I hope. Many observers, both domestic and foreign, could see the whole election campaign be held in a calm and open manner, in strict compliance with Belarusian legislation. All candidates were provided ample opportunities for campaigning.
I warmly thank you, dear compatriots, all those who supported me. I want to emphasize that it is absolutely not mine, not a personal success. This is our nationwide victory, the victory of the Belarusian people. I emphasize without any flattery: this was the first election campaign during which you all including me were proud of themselves and proud of our people. You saw what was happening around. We calmly, quietly came to polling stations and showed who's boss in this house. This is the greatest merit of the Belarusian people, and I am proud to serve this nation.

In his speech, Alexander Lukashenko outlined the priorities of the further development of Belarus. The President spoke against hasty and externally imposed structural reforms in the country. Emphasis was placed on the economy. It should be raised to a higher level, as well as people's living standards.

The head of state also touched on foreign policy aspects.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Belarus will remain an active player in the post-Soviet space. It is not only key to our well-being but also protection against different kinds of threats. Peace and order in our land is the highest value.   Leonid Kuchma can tell you more about that. We spared nothing for the sake of preserving peace and security in our land. Therefore, we support the steps aimed at improving the efficiency of the Collective Security Treaty; we are rapidly developing our relations with our strategic partner - the great China. And I want to thank my close friend Xi Jinping and a special delegation he sent today to the inauguration. We spent three days working with them, arguing and negotiating a lot. And I ask you to convey Xi Jinping the best wishes for his support for the Belarusian people, on behalf of the Belarusian people. We are developing our relations with the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.  Today Belarus is open to equal cooperation and friendship with the West, the United States and the European Union. If they want it. There are no obstacles in order to turn the page of the past and start a new history of the relationship with a clean slate.

Afterwards the solemn ceremony moved from in the Palace of Independence to State Flag Square.

Alexander Lukashenko was in the form of commander in chief. In his speech to the gathering, the President spoke about the duty to protect the interests of the country and its constitutional principles and territorial integrity.

Stanislav Zas, State Secretary of the Security Council of the Republic of Belarus:
We, with dignity and honor, solemnly pledge to bear the high rank of the defenders of the Fatherland, selflessly serve the Belarusian people and the President of the Republic of Belarus, defend our homeland bravely and skillfully, without sparing our energy and life itself. We swear!

The ceremony at State Flag Square completed with a colorful and symbolic rite - the offering of military allegiance to the Belarusian people and the President. After the anthem, the honor guard marched along spectator stands.

Alexander Lukashenko:
As Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces I deem the protection of interests of our country and its constitutional principles and territorial integrity to be the highest goal.
The world around us did not become prosperous. And it has its negative impact on Belarus. But we will definitely keep our state. We cherish our homeland. We will be united, consistent and persistent in building and defending national interests. We have always said we will never threaten anyone. Our military objective is to protect our small plot of land where a branch of the Slavic people - Belarusians - has lived for many centuries. We need to defend our clean, beautiful and educated nation. We will not give up any piece of our land, but without threatening our neighbors and other countries. We do not need someone else's but we will not give ours. We must remember not threatening anyone: in the words of our great ancestor who comes to us with a sword will be killed by a sword. To this end, we, military people, are working. We are going to defend our land, families, children and loved ones at the cost of our lives.