Pakistan desires to build broad based, long term ties with Belarus: President Mamnoon Hussain

Islamabad, May 28, 2015 (PPI-OT): President Mamnoon Hussain has said that Pakistan desires to build a broad based, substantive and long-term relationship with Belarus in all fields including trade, economic, education, defence, and culture.

President Mamnoon Hussain said this in a meeting with the President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko here at Aiwan-e-Sadron Thursday. The two dignitaries first had one on one meeting which was followed by delegation level talks.

Welcoming the President of Belarus to Pakistan on his first visit, the President said that Pakistan values its relations with Belarus and both countries enjoy a warm and a cordial relationship. He hoped that the enhanced interactions between the two countries in recent past would further increase in the times ahead. The President noted that the opening of a Resident Mission of Belarus in Islamabad last November has greatly contributed towards enhancing bilateral ties.

The President stated that the two countries have immense potential for economic and commercial relations adding the current trade volume does not reflect true potential and can be substantially enhanced. The President said that Pakistan offers excellent opportunities for foreign investors with investment-friendly regulations and a huge market of over 180 million people.

Belarusian investors can make use of the incentives provided by the Government of Pakistan in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs), stated the President. He noted that the holding of the first Pakistan-Belarus Business and Investment Forum in Islamabad on 25th May 2015 was a positive development. The impressive show from both sides was an unambiguous indicator of the scope for collaboration in diverse fields of economy, observed the President.

The President hoped that Pakistan-Belarus Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting this fall in Minsk will be beneficial for enhancing trade and economic relations between the two countries. He stated that there is a need to establish close interaction between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of the two countries and to work for the establishment of Pakistan-Belarus Joint Business Council.

The President emphasized that there is great scope of increasing bilateral relations in the fields of textile, agricultural equipment, heavy machinery, pharmaceuticals, dairy products and transport and hoped that signing of a number of MOUs tomorrow would provide a solid foundation for bilateral future cooperation in diverse areas between the two countries. The President also called for encouraging contacts between parliamentarians of both countries as this would further the cordiality and friendship between the two countries.

The President stated that Pakistan has been the worst victim of terrorism and has immensely suffered human and material losses in violent terrorist attacks. The President emphasized that Pakistan is committed to root out the scourge of terrorism from its soil adding the entire nation is united in this resolve. He further stated that the ongoing military operation “Zarb-e-Azb” is against all terrorists and it would continue till the menace of terrorism and extremism is eliminated.

President Mamnoon Hussain also extended his deepest condolences on the sad demise of the mother of President Alexander Lukashenko. Speaking on the occasion, President of Belarus said that Pakistan is not responsible for spread of terrorism in the world and alleging Pakistan in this regard is a misperception. The President of Belarus stated that his country is also keen to expand cooperation and partnership with Pakistan in all areas of mutual interest for further cementing the bilateral ties.

President Alexander Lukashenko offered to provide assistance in procuring land and construction of Pakistani embassy in Belarus. He also extended an invitation to President Mamnoon Hussain to visit Belarus. President Mamnoon Hussain accepted the invitation to visit Belarus at the earliest convenience.

Earlier, upon arrival, President Alexander Lukashenko was warmly received by President Mamnoon Hussain at Aiwan-e-Sadr. Children attired in traditional costumes also presented bouquets to the visiting dignitary. Later, President Mamnoon Hussain hosted a state banquet in the honour of his Belarusian counterpart.

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