Visiting Belarus visa-free

Statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus H.E. Sergei Martynov at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs on June 4, 2003 (Madrid)

NEW THREATS TO SECURITY AND THE ROLE OF PARTNERSHIP IN DEALING WITH THEM

The latest wave of terrorist attacks throughout the world - from Philippine island Mindanao to Chechnya in Russian Federation - demonstrated that the antiterrorist coalition still has to find adequate responses to that challenge of the international terrorism. The Republic of Belarus supports resolute and straight measures against this menace and actively participates in their implementation. Belarus is confident that further consolidation of international efforts is needed to effectively confront this global challenge.

Responding to the most urgent and terrible threat we should always have in mind our long-standing objective of building peace and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area. Essential element for meeting this objective is further strengthening of regional cooperation within the EAPC in order to combat smuggling, human trafficking and other asymmetrical threats. The Prague summit adopted new instruments and mechanisms of Partnership aiming at the enhancement of regional cooperation. In this regard I would like to promote our proposal aired in Prague to NATO member states and other countries of our region to work out a Partnership Action Plan to implement an in-depth region-specific cooperation in border control, combating illegal migration, illicit trade in arms and nuclear, biological and chemical materials. The plan should also envisage enhanced security of nuclear power plants, which are particularly vulnerable to terrorist attacks, as well as other strategic energy facilities, i.e. oil and gas pipelines leading to the West.

We are working closely with our neighbours in the region to strengthen border security and border management. Thus Belarus fully supports ideas, prompted by many Allies and Partners, of broadening consultations and developing practical cooperation within the EAPC to prevent illegal migration and to enhance border security.

Arms control is another area where the EAPC community should and could do more. Belarus calls upon all EAPC members to undertake urgent and appropriate steps to speed up ratification process and entry into force of the adapted CFE Treaty. Indeed this Treaty has played an important role in uniting Europe after the end of the Cold War and building a genuine confidence among the states. We do believe that adherence to the CFE Treaty will contribute to maintaining a consolidated arms control regime in Europe. Belarus welcomes the statements of the leaders of the European countries, which are that members of the CFE Treaty, to join in.