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Alexander Lukashenko holds 5 meetings with Asian, Middle Eastern leaders during OIC summit

Today, 14 April, on the sidelines of the OIC summit in Istanbul, Alexander Lukashenko held a series of meetings with world leaders.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite the workload and tiredness, met with his longtime friend Alexander Lukashenko closer to midnight. The Presidents have known each other since 2010. This is evident by a handshake.

Turkey is ready to develop relations with Belarus in the future. The presidents discussed many matter of cooperation, but the emphasis is on strengthening economic and trade relations and development of tourism. Turkey is ready to increase the volume of investments into the Belarusian economy.

Erdogan's promise was already being discussed in Minsk in the morning. The Belarusian-Turkish intergovernmental commission will meet in May to discuss the further cooperation in more detail.

Orkun Ersoy, Counselor of Turkish Embassy in the Republic of Belarus:
In 2015, trade turnover between Turkey and Belarus amounted to about $400 million. Turkish investments in the Belarusian economy today exceed $1 billion. And they are mainly focused on services, wholesale and retail trade, construction and installation works.

To become closer, Belarus and Turkey are ready to increase the number of flights. President Erdogan said he plans to visit Minsk.

Today the Belarusian leader had a hot agenda: bilateral meetings and establishment of new contacts. To diversify exports, Alexander Lukashenko, at the sidelines of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit, tried to build economic bridges with new countries and regions.

Vladislav Froltsov, political scientist: 
This may give Belarus promising and wider opportunities to find new markets for its goods and services. Today, as the President of Belarus repeatedly stresses, this problem is a priority for enterprises of different ownership forms, for different sectors.

The OIC, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, groups about sixty countries with a population, between one and one and a half billion people, according to various estimates. Christian Belarus is not a casual visitor in this Islamic club. Belarus and the OIC have the same political views on a multipolar world and the same attitudes toward traditional values. Alexander Lukashenko is known in the region as a peacemaker.

His experience and the image are useful for this meeting.  

Alexander Sinkevich, political scientist: 
The peoples are tired. People are tired. We need to find some ways out, some solutions. The Minsk process is still heard in a positive way and provides a relatively stable and peaceful situation in the east of Ukraine. So this experience can be extended to other regions, including those in the Islamic world.  

The OIC summit becomes a place where observers from various international organizations can gather, including the countries of the European vector.

Russia also took part in the summit, represented by special envoy Konstantin Shuvalov. By the way, the Turkish side diplomatically placed the Russian and Belarusian flags nearby. 

Several CIS countries are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The OIC platform brings together colleagues and long-time partners from the CSTO and Eurasian Economic Union, in which Belarus is a member state.

Before a joint photo is taken, Alexander Lukashenko talks with Nursultan Nazarbayev on the sidelines. The conversation then continued at a bilateral meeting.   

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We held talks with you before and discussed international and local issues. We agreed about your visit to Belarus. Before that, I will visit Astana, at the end of May, if I am not mistaken. Therefore, we will really be able to seriously analyze the problems that arise in connection with the global economic crisis, and even with the troubles associated with ourselves and with our main economic partner - the Russian Federation.

In Istanbul, the presidents agreed on mutual visits to Minsk and Astana, and the strengthening of economic ties. Positive prospects arise in connection with the development of a logistics corridor from China to Europe.

Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan:
We are brotherly countries, in fact, we have common goals, common aspirations, common objectives, we have common allies. Kazakhstan offers Belarus a good way through its territory straight to China.

As many as 56 states took part in the summit, with 33 being represented at the highest level. Among the kings and presidents of Muslim world, specially invited guest Alexander Lukashenko is treated with special respect. One rarely sees a European politician being greeted by emirs or sheikhs so warmly.

At a bilateral meeting, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani offers Alexander Lukashenko to further develop and strengthen economic ties. The richest state of the Arabian Peninsula considers Minsk a long-term partner. Qatar calls relations with Belarus strategic.  

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
We always act based on our national interests. The President clearly tasked us to diversify our foreign trade, foreign policy activities and implement the multi-vector nature of our policy in practice. Many would like to see Belarus as a reliable friend and partner with whom one could develop political, humanitarian, trade and economic relations. And by the way, security relations. We really are cooperating with the vast majority of Muslim countries on a number of these areas.

The meeting of Alexander Lukashenko with the Vice President of Indonesia ended with some specific agreements. Joint trade between the two nations may reach $1 billion. Belarusian enterprises may appear in Indonesia. In order to strengthen the ties, an embassy of Indonesia may open in Minsk.                

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Three years ago I made a state visit to your beautiful country. Then we reached a number of agreements about the development of our relations. I am very happy to state today that these relations are really developing.

Belarus made a breakthrough in relations with Pakistan last year. The two countries established a strategic partnership that will go down in history. Alexander Lukashenko pointed out the efficiency of the Pakistani side in the organization of inter-state visits at the highest level. The Pakistani leader underlined the dynamism of the relations too.

Alexander Lukashenko then addressed the Prime Minister of Afghanistan with a peace proposal. Belarus is ready to help peace building in Muslim countries. 

MORE: Belarus-Afghanistan relations     

Andrei Savinykh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Belarus to the Republic of Turkey:
The peace-loving foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus is known worldwide. We are proud to have never started wars. We prefer to have constructive and pragmatic relations with all countries of the world.  

Alexander Lukashenko is known in the Arab world as a stable and trusted partner in the economy with a clear position in international politics.

The OIC summit has ended. Work in the eastern direction continues. 

Alexander Lukashenko holds 5 meetings with Asian, Middle Eastern leaders during OIC summit