On 14 April, official negotiations are held with the participation of foreign ministers. The day before, the parties talked for several hours in an informal atmosphere, discussed the main directions of the Belarusian-Azerbaijani relations and strategic issues of bilateral cooperation.
“Probably, our meeting will, to some extent, sound like a refrain against the background of all these events: pandemic and other things. But true friends don’t postpone activities that need to be done on time. Not a single pandemic can prevent this,” said Alexander Lukashenko, his press service reports.
Last year, the trade turnover between Belarus and Azerbaijan approached half a billion dollars. According to Lukashenko, this is a good result in terms of dynamics.
“As for our political relations, it is difficult to say what we are missing. We have a brilliant relationship. And I am always proud of that. We have restored the warmest relations since the Soviet Union in all directions,” Lukashenko said and thanked Aliyev for the supply of hydrocarbons to Belarus.
“We, perhaps, should somewhere consider the issue of deepening relations in this area. This is, of course, a very delicate and scrupulous issue since Belarus is located in the epicentre of economic and political events. But nevertheless, there are no unsolvable issues,” he noted.
Lukashenko also offered support in the reconstruction of the conflict-affected territories.
“Azerbaijan has made a great step towards achieving its national dream. I am very glad that you, as a true friend of the Belarusian people, understand that there is so much more work ahead. Hard work, peaceful work to rebuild life in the returned territories.
And you should know that you have reliable friends in Belarus. You know our capabilities. Today we will discuss it again with ministers and specialists. If we come to an agreement, we have always been this way, we will always implement our agreements,” the Pul Pervogo Telegra, channel quotes Lukashenko’s words.
Lukashenko noted that Belarus sincerely welcomes the agreement on a complete cessation of hostilities in the zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. He stated that his position is known both in Azerbaijan and in Armenia. Aliyev stated that Azerbaijan aims at strengthening confidence-building measures in relations with Armenia.
“We expect that Belarus, as our friend, a trusted partner, will take an active part not only in the restoration of territories. Belarus, as a partner of Armenia, a country that together with it is a member of the EAEU and the CSTO, and as a country that is a close friend of Azerbaijan, can play an important role in establishing contacts between Armenia and Azerbaijan,” he added.
At a meeting with journalists, Lukashenko said that during the talks the parties confirmed the strategic nature of relations between Belarus and Azerbaijan and discussed the situation in the world.
“Our assessments of the situation in the world completely coincide. There is clarity about further joint actions in the context of the global economic crisis, pandemic and, most importantly, ambiguous forecasts for the future.”
They also spoke about the transfer of technologies and the opening of new joint ventures in Azerbaijan: to create the necessary industries and new jobs. The sides also discussed the coronavirus pandemic and vaccination. Lukashenko noted that Belarus will not be able to consume the entire volume of vaccines produced in Belarus using Russian technologies, therefore they are ready to export them, including to Azerbaijan.
Aliyev noted that cooperation between the countries is successfully developing in the political and economic spheres.
“Our mutual visits are regular. All this indicates close political interaction, a high level of trust between countries and a focus on results. Our relationship is completely free from any problems. Our regular contacts allow us to simply take stock of what has been done, outline the next steps and move forward as two friends, partners,” he said.
Following the talks, the parties signed documents on the development of cooperation in the energy, tourism, and veterinary spheres.