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Belarus and countries of Africa and Middle East

The broadening of cooperation with 67 dynamically developing countries of Africa and Middle East and 11 international regional organizations is gaining an importance for strengthening the so called “far arc of partnership” as an element of the balanced foreign policy of the Republic of Belarus.

Belarus has established diplomatic relations with 51 of the 54 countries of the African continent and all the states of the Middle East.

In 9 countries — traditional and most promising partners (Egypt, Israel, Qatar, Kenia, Nigeria, the UAE, Syria, South Africa, Zimbabwe) — Belarus has well-functioning diplomatic missions.

At the same time, Belarusian Ambassadors are accredited as non-residents  in 19 countries of the region of Africa and the Middle East.

The institute of Honorary Consuls is now high on the agenda as well. The Honorary Consuls advocate the interests of Belarus in such countries of the region as Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Israel, Ivory Coast, Lebanon, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Syria, the Sudan and Ethiopia. 

In turn, 8 countries of Africa and the Middle East are represented in Belarus at the ambassadorial level and 7 countries are represented at the level of honorary consuls. A number of Ambassadors (the heads of 37 diplomatic missions of African and Middle Eastern countries with residence in Moscow, as well as in Berlin) are accredited in the Republic of Belarus as non-residents.

In 2023 Ambassadors of Angola, Ghana, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Jordan, Mauritania, Uganda, and Equatorial Guinea were accredited to the Republic of Belarus.

The coincidence of positions on most current issues on the international agenda, similar approaches to address the social and economic development contribute to increased cooperation between Belarus and the Middle East and African countries in all fields.

Belarus traditionally maintains the relations of friendship and mutual support with African and the Middle East states in a variety of universal international organizations, primarily within the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement, and holds observer status in the largest regional organizations, namely the African Union and the Arab League.

Cooperation with priority partners in the Middle East and Africa – Egypt, Israel, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Syria, Zimbabwe, the Arabian Peninsula – maintains its positive trend. Regular exchange of visits at the highest level has a positive impact on the development of bilateral cooperation with the countries of this region.

In cooperation with Syria, 2023 was marked by 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. On the occasion of the Anniversary of diplomatic relations, a number of bilateral ceremonial events took place, including the cancellation of a commemorative postage stamp issued by the RUE “Belpost”.

A number of high-level meetings and visits took place and became significant for the development of bilateral relations.

Visits of the President of the Republic of Belarus to Zimbabwe (January-February 2023), Equatorial Guinea and Kenya (December 2023) were organized.

  • In July 2023, on the sidelines of the Ministerial meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement in Baku, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Aleinik. S.F. held bilateral meetings with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Qatar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria, the State of Kuwait, Palestine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Syria, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of South Africa.
  • In September 2023, on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Aleinik. S.F. held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt.
  • A number of trade and economic events were held with Egypt - the main partner in the North African region, including meetings of the Belarusian-Egyptian Joint Trade Commission and the Belarusian-Egyptian Business Cooperation Council.
  • The visit of the Chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq to Minsk (November 2023) gave a positive impetus for bilateral cooperation.
  • In 2023 bilateral meetings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus S.Aleinik with the President of Eritrea, the foreign ministers of Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Tunisia, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Uganda in the framework of multilateral events of the Non-Aligned Movement, BRICS and the 78th UN General Assembly took place.

The “economic diplomacy” retains of particular importance for the Republic of Belarus, with its’ export-oriented economy.

A key area of cooperation between the Republic of Belarus with the countries of Africa in trade and economic sphere is to expand exports of goods and services. A systematic work is conducted to enter new markets in the African continent.

At the same time the most promising area of cooperation with the Gulf countries and Israel is the development of investment cooperation. Joint investment projects in the field of creation of new industries, construction, agriculture, hotels, trade, etc. are being worked out and implemented.

The impetus for building trade and economic cooperation was given by joint events with states of the region.

In 2021 and 2022 two editions of ”Spotlight into Belarus“ forum were held in the UAE. The forum was dedicated to the opportunities for investment and business cooperation between Belarus and the UAE.

In 2021 – 2022 the Republic of Belarus took part in "EXPO-2020" exhibition in Dubai (UAE). Economic and investment opportunities of all regions of Belarus, as well as the scientific and tourism potential of the country were presented at the Belarusian pavilion at EXPO-2020. The Belarus Pavilion itself has entered the top 20 best pavilions of the exhibition.

Joint projects in trade, economic, scientific, technical, investment and other areas are being successfully implemented. Several countries have already established joint ventures to produce modern automobiles and tractors based on Belarusian technologies.

Belarusian enterprises and organizations actively participate in international exhibitions and fairs held in Africa and the Middle East.

In March 2023, nine Belarusian food producers took part in the AgriteQ international food exhibition in Qatar for the first time.

In addition, with the assistance of the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs a number of Belarusian exporters, primarily Minsk Automobile Plant and Minsk Tractor Works, each year open their representative offices in African and the Middle East countries. Fruitful work on the creation of permanent exhibitions of Belarusian products and Belarusian trading houses in the most promising (in terms of Belarusian export) countries in the region is permanently maintained.

Humanitarian ties are also developing. In 2023 Belarus delivered humanitarian aid to Syria.

In the Belarusian universities hundreds of future graduates from Africa and the Middle East, primarily Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc. are trained annually.

⇒ Belarus in International Relations Source

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