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Statement by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, Valentin Rybakov, at the reception dedicated to the Day of Indian technical and economic cooperation program (October 6, 2016, Minsk)

Your Excellency Ambassador of India to Belarus Mr. Pankaj Saxena,

Dear Belarusian and Indian friends,

Thank you for the kind invitation to join you at this annual gathering to commemorate the ITEC Day. I am pleased to note that this event is held against the background of vibrant and dynamic development of Belarus-India collaboration. 

Next year our two countries will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations: a quarter-century of official ties, cordial friendship and multifaceted partnership.

For somebody 25 years would not seem a long period. However in the words of the prominent Indian poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore «Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance». Truly within relatively short time Belarus and India created an extensive bilateral legal base, established the necessary intergovernmental mechanisms and implemented numerous joint projects in the areas of trade, investment, science and education.

The last year’s visit of the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee to Belarus gave the opportunity to radically revise and “shake up” the bilateral relations, give new impetus to their development. The Roadmap of the Belarusian-Indian cooperation which was approved by the Presidents of Belarus and India dovetails the strong determination and commitment on both sides for closer engagement.

An indispensable element and in many ways the driving force of all the bilateral events have always been and will be the people-to-people contacts.

Belarus has been a member of ITEC family since 1993. We are grateful for the quotas the Government of India has allocated to Belarus under this scheme. I think the statistics of Belarus participation in ITEC is quite remarkable: 280 representatives of Belarus participated in the program since its inception.

On a larger scale ITEC is not only training platform for skills upgrade, it is also a networking possibility for the Belarus representatives to find counterparts in India for possible further joint work and it’s an excellent opportunity to make new lifelong friendships which always help Belarus-India relations to grow from strength to strength. Moreover through ITEC experience India contributes to greater friendship and unity among nations. 

Your Excellency Ambassador of India to Belarus Mr. Pankaj Saxena, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Embassy of India in Belarus and personally to you, Your Excellency, for the promotion of the program in Belarus and for your extensive efforts to bring our countries closer together.  

Thank you for your attention.

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