On December 19, 2019 the Heads of Government of the Central European Initiative (CEI) member states met in Rome, Italy. The Belarusian delegation was headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister, Evgeny Shestakov.
During the plenary session of the summit, E.Shestakov advocated further strengthening of the CEI role as a platform for dialogue and development of regional cooperation, expanding contacts among the member states by fostering transport links, harmonizing trade procedures, simplifying transit and promoting energy and digital connectivity.
E.Shestakov stressed the need to bolster the economic dimension of the CEI and develop partnerships with other international organizations. He expressed readiness of Belarus to provide maximum assistance in this regard, especially in the context of the country’s presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union in 2020, with a view to building synergies between integration processes in the European continent.
The head of the Belarusian delegation emphasized the importance of enhanced CEI cooperation in the field of science and technology and drew attention to the Belarus’ initiative to create a system of technological forecasting at the international level.
During the summit, the head of the Belarusian delegation met with CEI Secretary General Roberto Antonioni. The interlocutors discussed future cooperation between Belarus and the CEI, including the possibility of organizing a number of CEI events in Belarus next year.
E.Shestakov also held bilateral meetings with a number of heads of delegations on the margins of the summit.
Background Information: the CEI is an intergovernmental association established in 1989 to promote regional co-operation. It currently comprises 17 States: Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. Belarus joined the CEI in 1996.
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