President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko paid an official visit to Iran on March 12-13 for the first time in the last 17 years. This is the third visit of the Belarusian leader to Tehran. In the Iranian capital, he held a number of meetings with the leadership of the Islamic Republic, including negotiations with the head of state, Ebrahim Raisi. As a result, a number of documents were signed, including those under the heading “for official use”.
In Tehran, the visit of the Belarusian leader was called a turning point and a starting point for building deeper relations between the two countries. Lukashenka stressed that now the main thing for Belarus and Iran is not to lose time. Here are some of the statements that the leaders of the two countries made during the visit of the President of Belarus to the Iranian capital.
The President of Belarus, who previously visited Tehran in 2006, stated that all these years he paid too little attention to cooperation between the two countries and now intends to fill this gap. In turn, the President of Iran, in his welcoming speech, noted that the Belarusian-Iranian relations over the past two years have shown a significant breakthrough. Thus, by the end of 2022, the trade turnover between the two countries reached $100 million, which is three times more than the level of trade in 2021.
Lukashenka drew attention to the fact that Iran and Belarus are under unprecedented sanctions pressure from the West. At the same time, over the decades of economic and political blockade, Tehran has managed to maintain and is successfully developing its industrial potential, including modern technologies and nuclear energy.
Every time I observe with great respect the tenacity with which your people resist external pressure, attempts to impose someone else's will
the Belarusian leader stated.
Lukashenka expressed confidence that, following the results of his current visit, both countries would enter a new stage of cooperation. He stressed that Minsk and Tehran, by joining forces, will be able to make this cooperation as effective and mutually beneficial as possible. Speaking about sanctions pressure, the President of Belarus said that Western restrictions on the two states are a time of new opportunities.
The Belarusian President praised Iran's efforts to build a railway as part of the development of the North-South international transport corridor. He stressed that the creation of an overpass is important for Minsk not only in terms of improving export-import logistics between the two countries, but also for the transit of goods to other states.
After the leaders of the two countries visited the exhibition of Iran's leading medical and scientific-innovative manufacturers, Lukashenko said that he considers it necessary to develop cooperation between Iran and Belarus in the production of medical goods and other high-tech products. Including by creating joint ventures in Belarus.
During the President's meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the latter called on the countries under Western sanctions to take collective measures to neutralize the imposed restrictions.
Following the talks in Tehran, Alexander Lukashenko and Ebrahim Raisi signed a roadmap for comprehensive cooperation between Belarus and Iran for 2023-2026. The development of this agreement was launched following the meeting of the presidents on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Tajikistan in 2021. According to Lukashenka, the document will not be made public, so that the West "does not put spokes in our wheels."