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CEI Deputy Secretary General about Belarus’ chairmanship in organization

President Lukashenko urged to build bridges with different integration structures on the continent.

The Head of state held a meeting with foreign affairs ministers of the CEI member states. The meeting turned out to be substantive. Counterterrorism, migration issues, development of transport infrastructure, acceleration of trade flows and development of logistics services. These are some of the issues touched upon.

The CEI today is an authorised platform for discussing pressing issues and for making important decisions. In the last couple of years, the organization is striving for establishing good relations between the East and the West. Belarus chairs in the Central European Initiative in 2017. Alexander Lukashenko is sure that this status will help to establish good contacts with many countries. Various bilateral meetings of diplomats will contribute to this.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus:
Belarus has chosen the promotion of interoperability and complementarity in the Greater Europe as the main theme of its chairmanship. Being at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, the states in the organization face similar obstacles in social and economic development. At the same time, it creates great possibilities for expanding trade and for activating relations in other sectors.

We want the Belarusian chairmanship to give dynamics to the topical discussion of the issues the solution to which is necessary for a full realization of economic potential of the region’s countries. Among them is synchronization of plans on expanding transport infrastructure, rapprochement of standards of procedures to accelerate trade flows and the development of logistics services. Belarus sees its chairmanship as a unique opportunity for effective participation in the European integration processes.

It is no less important that the CEI closely cooperates with the EU by taking part in the realization of different programmes, projects, and strategies of regional development. It is another possibility for Belarus to improve mutual understanding with the EU through applied cooperation.

We also think that Belarus’ chairmanship in the CEI is a perfect tool for intensifying cooperation with its other member countries.

The meeting at the Palace of Independence turned out to be frank. Diplomats expressed their opinions, discussed certain issues and were interested in President Lukashenko’s opinion. After all, the EU is not at its best times, for this reason, the unifying role of certain states, including Belarus, and their initiatives are extremely important. The role of Minsk in resolving the Ukrainian crisis was discussing during the dialogue as well. There are no analogues to it at present.

Igor Crnadak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
The world changes with every day, the problems change too. Therefore, it is important for us to unite our efforts. There are certain spheres which are important for us. Among them are counterterrorism, migration issues. Regional programmes and projects need to be fulfilled now.

Margot Klestil-Löffler, CEI Deputy Secretary General:
It was a rather wise political and strategic decision of Belarus’ administration – to take over the chairmanship in the organization. The ongoing efforts of the country give new dimensions for unification, they balance the activity of the organization in European states and on the Eurasian continent.

As many as 18 states are members of the Central European Initiative. All of them are interested in developing relations and they support Belarus’ initiatives. Among them are suggestions on the development of transport and energy infrastructure, attraction of investments, ways of solving the European migration crisis.

CEI Deputy Secretary General about Belarus’ chairmanship in organization