You are here

Intergovernmental relations and trade and economic cooperation: Turkish President’s official visit to Minsk

I can assume that in a conversation between Lukashenko and Putin the Ukrainian theme was mentioned. When Moscow and Ankara (that’s another story) had an argument about the Russian plane that was shot down, Alexander Lukashenko flew to Istanbul for the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and during his meeting with Erdogan, he could have put in a word for reconciliation of Russia and Turkey.

And in the case of Ukraine, not just Minsk became a meeting place, but also the President of Belarus was the politician with whom both parties to the conflict could and wanted to talk. Therefore, it is possible that the telephone conversation of Putin and Poroshenko with the President of Belarus is the only reliable way for the leaders of Russia and Ukraine to communicate without personal contact, at the same time preserving the face.

Belarus attracts many countries not only as a peacekeeper. There is a notion of passenger traffic. I will note that the flow of foreign delegations to our country has revived. This week, officials from China, Poland, Ukraine, Latvia and Pakistan visited Minsk. At the end of the week, the Turkish President arrived in the Belarusian capital. The President of Belarus visited Turkey four times. He made two official visits to the country and he participated in international summits twice (one of them I have already mentioned). The arrival of the President of the Republic of Turkey to Belarus is the first one. The first visit was marked by the opening of the first largest mosque in Belarus. However, the main goal of the visit was to discuss bilateral relations and economic and trade cooperation. Yevgeny Pustovoy has more on the story.

The Turkish president was met at the airport by premier Andrei Kobyakov. A year ago, the Belarusian prime minister and the Turkish President met at the Belarusian Investment Forum. Economic cooperation is also a leading topic in Minsk these days.

Turkey was the first in the world who recognized the independence of Belarus. And that same respect still remains today.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Our friendship and our relationship have been tested by time. And you can be sure of the reliability of our relations on the part of Belarus. We will always be predictable for Turkey. Trade and economic relations are a little behind our personal relationships, our bilateral relations. But even in this part, we do have progress.

While Alexander Lukashenko met his Turkish counterpart on the red carpet, the Turkish leader's wife visited the National Art Museum.

Emine Erdoğan supported a proposal on the national art exhibitions in Belarus and Turkey. The states have found common ground in humanitarian terms. Days of Belarusian Culture took place in Turkey in 2015.

The first mosque in Minsk is the symbol of historical justice. It was built in the years of the Orthodox Russian Empire and destroyed by the atheistic power - USSR. But now it is an obvious sign of respect for the feelings of Muslims in Belarus.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey:

Belarus is a country where people of different ethnic and religious backgrounds live together under one roof, in peace and harmony. Belarus does not merely declare the idea of ​​tolerance; it really sticks to it and takes into account the interests of different cultures. Thank you for that.

If you go above the height of religious feelings, the new Mosque is a real decoration of the urban landscape. The sides plan to develop 50 joint projects.

Alexander Lukashenko:
It is time to move away from mere trade in goods; we should build a new, cooperative form of interaction, which is an essential mechanism for survival in modern conditions. The two countries are interested in the further development of mutually beneficial, balanced, investment, credit and financial relations.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

We have discussed the international agenda of our bilateral relations, including in economy and trade. We discussed not only the opportunity to significantly increase trade turnover to $1 billion, but also translate it into the national currencies.

Sergei Kizima, political analyst:
VIP persons, leaders of the countries that are part of the "Big Twenty" in terms of economy visit Belarus more and more. Personal political contacts at the highest level increase the attractiveness of Belarus as a stable partner.

The Turkish delegation is so weighty that one of the largest halls of the Palace of Independence was chosen for the meeting. The sides signed nine documents. These are not formal agreements but a real plan of action for the coming years.

Tayyip Uçar, founder of a textile enterprise:
I always invite friends to work in Belarus, I always invite businessmen to invest in your country. Here, next to you is a big market - Russia. If you are engaged in production here, you will not have sales problems.

Tayyip Uçar is one of Turkey's textile kings and large Belarusian investors. And it seems that the presidents heard his proposals. Alexander Lukashenko offered Turkish business an area of special preferences in Mogilev, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke in favor of a general system of benefits for Belarusian businesses.

Oleg Zabavkin, director of a company with Turkish capital:
When producing products we use only Belarusian components. Investors are very satisfied with the products supplied. In the future, we plan to develop further.

Belarusian and Turkish economies are complementary. The business-forum, by the way, the large-scale in the history of the Belarusian business, welcomed 500 business people. The sides have made arrangements on joint ventures and innovation projects. Belarus and Turkey can exchange items and technologies: from the construction of the nuclear power plant to innovative products.

At the business forum, the business elite of Turkey and Belarus applauded the presidents.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We have absolutely no contradictions on the international agenda on political issues; we have excellent diplomatic relations. But today we have noted with the president noted that the trade and economic relations are a bit behind we have to pull them.

Journalists have calculated that the most used word in the lexicon of the Turkish leader was the word "friend." This is the way Mr Erdogan addressed Mr Lukashenko.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan:
I am very happy that I made the visit to Belarus. And my dear friend Lukashenko greeted me so warmly that I think many of his compatriots need to discover Belarus. We need to work together to promote the tourism industry, we are ready to increase the number of flights.

The increase in the number flights between Minsk and Ankara depends on how much our business relationships will rise. But after this visit, as Alexander Lukashenko said, we Belarus and Turkey have really become neighbors.

Intergovernmental relations and trade and economic cooperation: Turkish President’s official visit to Minsk