Minsk: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, arrived in Belarus on Friday to hold talks on strengthening bilateral ties with President Alexander Lukashenko.
The two leaders discussed regional and international affairs and explored the prospect of greater cooperation to serve mutual interests.
President Lukashenko welcomed Sheikh Mohamed and his delegation and termed the visit ‘a new addition’ in relations between the two countries.
Sheikh Mohamed expressed his thanks and appreciation at the warm reception accorded to him and his delegation. He said it reflected the longstanding tradition of the Belarusian people, and the close friendship both countries have had since diplomatic relations were established between the two countries in 1992.
Sheikh Mohamed emphasised that the UAE is adopting a foreign policy based on openness, cooperation and partnership at both, regional and international levels, and is keen to build close relations with various countries based on mutual respect and interests, building bridges of cooperation and interaction between cultures and civilisations.
The UAE supports development, peace and stability at regional and international levels, he added.
Relations with Belarus have developed significantly in recent times driven by a common political determination and available opportunities for growth and expansion to serve the mutual interests of the two friendly peoples, Sheikh Mohamed added.
Sheikh Mohamed noted that the visit by the Belarusian President to the UAE in 2017 had provided a big boost to bilateral ties and encouraged both sides to expand them further.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said that he sensed the sincerity of the Belarusian leadership to further expand the scope of cooperation with the UAE and its appreciation for the UAE’s pioneering development model which is based on civilisational values of peace, coexistence and tolerance.
Lukashenko expressed his country’s desire to bolster and diversify cooperation with the UAE, noting that the ever-growing relations promised further coordination and cooperation.
The visit of Sheikh Mohamed had provided a momentous boost to bilateral ties, he stressed.
At the end of the talks, the two sides affirmed their resolve to diversify their bilateral cooperation under the strong common political will of Emirati and Belarusian leaderships. They also emphasised the need for the international community to maximise its efforts to realise regional and international peace and security, build bridges of communication and cooperation among different peoples and counter the risks including terrorism and extremism that threaten stability, development and co-existence.
Lukashenko hosted a luncheon banquet in honour of Sheikh Mohamed and his delegation.
Thereafter, the two leaders planted a sapling at the Palace of Independence as a symbolic gesture of the deep ties of friendship between the UAE and Belarus.
Sheikh Mohamed also visited and laid a wreath at the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier in Minsk, a monument that commemorates soldiers who sacrificed their lives in defence of their country during the Second World War.