Serbian, Belarus presidents issue joint statement

BELGRADE -- Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko continued his official two-day visit to Serbia on Thursday by meeting with the country’s president, Tomislav Nikolić.

(Tanjug)
(Tanjug)

Lukashenko was welcomed in front of the Palace of Serbia in Belgrade with full state honors.

After a closed-door meeting, the presidents were joined by their countries’ delegations for further talks.

Several inter-governmental agreements and memorandums will be signed, according to announcements.

Nikolić and Lukashenko underlined in a joint statement their "commitment to the norms of international law and the UN principles and goals, pointing to a positive trend in overall cooperation between the two countries."

The presidents signed the joint statement on strengthening the central role of the UN in solving the entire set of issues related to preservation of the international peace and security, facing modern challenges and threats and peaceful solution of international disputes and conflicts, Tanjug reported.

"It is with pleasure that the focus was laid on the consistent support of Belarus to Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the necessity of drafting a comprehensive compromise in terms of Kosovo and Metohija, the importance of the political dialogue between Belgrade and Priština with a view to reaching stability in the region," reads the statement.

The presidents agreed that they will work on expanding the two countries' cooperation in terms of regional association and initiatives.

Commenting on Serbia's forthcoming chairmanship of the OSCE in 2015, the two officials expressed the countries' readiness to expand cooperation within the organization in order to secure an equal and balanced dialogue on security issues and cooperation along with safeguarding the basic principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the consensus as the key principle of OSCE.

The presidents advocated for further increase of the OSCE efficiency.

The two officials "expressed belief that a smooth, equal and constructive dialogue can contribute to settling international disputes and joint commitment to creation of conditions for such a dialogue."

The two presidents expressed satisfaction with the dynamic development of commercial and economic cooperation, and voiced their support to strengthening bilateral ties in relation to priority matters.

The priority matters include enhancing the volume and structure of trade and finding new areas of economic cooperation in order to boost the two countries' economies and raise the standard of living, they specified.

They underlined the potential of the Serbian-Belarus intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation as an efficient instrument of expanding cooperation in the machine building industry, agriculture, transport and energy sectors as well as food and wood processing industries.

The commission's potential "can also be used for the development of industrial cooperation, successful functioning of joint enterprises, and realization of new projects in the territories of both countries."

The joint statement also stresses the significance of further strengthening of regional ties through mutual visits of delegations, a larger number of twin towns and partner cities, and joint participation in trade fairs and exhibitions.

The two presidents voiced their commitment to creating favorable conditions for establishing closer contacts between members of Serbian and Belarus business communities, stronger cooperation between the two countries' chambers of commerce, scientific and technical cooperation and education.

Nikolić and Lukashenko pointed to trade and economic development potentials stemming from Belarus' membership in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, underlining the significance of Serbia's free trade agreements with members of the Customs Union.

The adopted documents will contribute to further broadening of the legal basis for bilateral ties, they agreed.

Nikolić and Lukashenko welcomed the results achieved so far by the Serbian-Belarus intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, the joint Serbian-Belarus commission on scientific and technical development, and adoption of the Road map for the development of cooperation between the two countries.

The two presidents voiced their intention to ensure efficient realization of the agreements.

After arriving in Belgrade on Wednesday afternoon, Lukashenko laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Hero on Mt. Avala near Belgrade.