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The President of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, visited Pakistan from 4-6 October, 2016, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. President Lukashenko was accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister, five Ministers, other high level officials and a 23-men business delegation. Apart from delegation level talks between President of Belarus and the Prime Minister, President Lukashenko also met the President of Pakistan, who hosted a banquet in honour of the visiting dignitary. The Speaker of National Assembly also called on President Lukashenko. The Prime Minister and Belarusian President signed a Joint Statement; issued a commemorative postage stamp and jointly inaugurated the fourth Pakistan-Belarus Business and Investment Forum. Both sides signed 14 Agreements and MoUs in the areas of finance, trade, aviation, science & technology, vocational training and education. They also exchanged notes on three instruments of ratification enabling their entry into force i.e. Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation, Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Civil and Commercial Matters and the Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Customs Matters.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus, who had arrived prior to the Presidential visit along with a high level delegation, inaugurated the Pakistan-Belarus Centre on Science and Technological Cooperation in Islamabad. The two countries are also establishing Urdu and Belarusian language chairs in respective capitals.

The Prime Minister and President Lukashenko, while reviewing the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, underlined the importance of further deepening of political, trade and economic ties, inter-parliamentary linkages and enhancing cultural and educational relations. Both sides reaffirmed their resolve to achieve the target of $ one billion trade volume between the two countries in 2020.

The two countries also signed a comprehensive “Joint Statement” reiterating their determination to further consolidate bilateral ties in all fields. The ‘Joint Statement’ reflects commonality of views on important regional and international issues; it inter alia underlines the importance of resolving all outstanding issues between Pakistan-India relations including the Jammu and Kashmir issue through peaceful means and in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and emphasizes the importance of a non-discriminatory approach to the issue of non-NPT states membership in the NSG based on consensus. The Statement also acknowledges the important role of Pakistan in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. .

This was the fourth leadership visit between two countries and a second visit by the Belarusian President to Pakistan in a span of sixteen months. President Lukashenko invited the Prime Minister to pay his second visit to Belarus. The invitation was accepted. The frequency of high level visits and interaction are reflective of the growing relations between Pakistan and Belarus.

6 October 2016

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