2017 will be a determining factor in the relations between Belarus and Iran, said Alexander Lukashenko meeting with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Belarus. Mohammad Reza Saburi is completing his diplomatic mission.
Diplomatic relations between Minsk and Tehran were established in 1993. The Belarus President visited Iran twice and the same number of times, Iran made return visits.
The leaders of Iran and Belarus held talks during a summit of the BRICS and the SCO in Ufa in July 2015. Despite this, the Belarusian leader considers the current level of bilateral cooperation insufficient.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We declare that we are strategic partners, that we have no contradictions, that are ready to cooperate in any area and have no closed topics, but the level of our cooperation it is far from top. If we compare it with our capabilities, Iran and Belarus have very much work to do.
Why am I so cautious about our cooperation? Because if Belarus and Iran implement at least half of their capacity, this will become the most effective cooperation project. You need all that we have, all that we produce. We really need your goods. Let's work together to establish joint ventures here in Iran, let us finally show that we can cooperate.
At the same time, the head of state noted that the parties have done a lot. A multi-vector arc of Belarusian foreign policy passes through Iran. Iran and Belarus are implementing the so-called roadmap of cooperation. The document primarily concerns mechanical engineering, chemical industry and pharmaceutical industry.
Today, trade between Belarus and Iran is at $38 million. Belarus supplies to the Persian region synthetic fibers, cosmetics, trucks and optics and imports nuts, fruits, polymers, and medical devices.
Mohammad Reza Saburi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Belarus:
For me it is a great honor - to meet you at the end of my diplomatic mission. All my colleagues and I agree that we have not used our full potential. I want to confirm your words that everything produced in Belarus is in demand in Iran. Iran emphasizes that we must raise the level of bilateral relations with the Republic of Belarus.
Alexander Lukashenko drew attention to the forthcoming meeting with the leadership of Iran. The main task is to review earlier decisions to maximize the level of interaction.