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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus On Closing of the Embassy of Israel in Minsk

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs perceived with regret the official notification of the Israeli side stating that the Embassy in Belarus will be closed due to financial reasons.

The Belarusian side understands economic difficulties faced by Israel but, at the same time, considers this step as the one that does not promote attempts to develop full-fledged relations with Belarus and is counterproductive for Belarusian-Israeli cooperation in many directions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus believes that closing of the Israeli diplomatic mission in Minsk will damage the interests of the Israeli citizens that have business relations with Belarus, complicate activities of the international Jewish organizations in Belarus and limit possibilities of developing historic relations between the peoples of our two countries.

The Belarusian side reserves the right to undertake the response steps on the basis of reciprocity.

Minsk, August 5, 2003