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.
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 2022, Ambassadors of Benin, Chad, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, the UAE were accredited to the Republic of Belarus.
Consultations and coordination of approaches with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on regional issues of concern take place on a regular basis. Another round of consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Belarus and Russia on North Africa and the Middle East was held in Minsk in October 2022.
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, Syria, 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 Israel, 2022 was marked by 30th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. On the occasion of the Anniversary of the diplomatic relations, a number of bilateral ceremonial events took place, including the cancellation of a commemorative postage stamp issued by the RUE “Belpost”.
The exchange of congratulatory messages between the Heads of State and Foreign Ministries marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe in April 2022.
A number of high-level meetings and visits took place and became significant for the development of bilateral relations.
On the sidelines of the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia in October 2022 in Astana, a conversation was held between the President of the Republic of Belarus and the Emir of the State of Qatar, in September 2022, within the framework of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the Foreign Minister of Belarus met with the Foreign Ministers of Syria, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Visits of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus to the UAE (May 2022), Iran and Syria (November 2022), Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus P.Parkhomchik to Zimbabwe (October 2022), where he met with President E.Mnangagwa and heads of a number of ministries, were organized.
The visit of the Minister of Agriculture of Iraq to Minsk in June 2022 gave a positive impetus to bilateral cooperation.
On the sidelines of the XXV St.-Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Deputy Minister of Industry of Belarus met with the Minister of Industry of Algeria in June 2022.
The first round of political consultations at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers with Zimbabwe took place in Harare in October 2022.
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.
Within the framework of the Zimbabwean International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo in April 2022, the National Exposition of the Republic of Belarus was organized, in which 8 companies participated.
Belarusian business delegation visited Nairobi in June 2022 to participate in the 23rd Kenya International Trade Exhibition “KITE-2022”, during which the National Exposition of Belarus was organized.
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 2022 Belarus delivered humanitarian aid to Syria and Sudan.
In the Belarusian universities hundreds of future graduates from Africa and the Middle East, primarily Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, etc. are trained annually.
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