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Lukashenko: Tashkent talks helped thrash out cooperation plans


The highest-level talks in Tashkent have helped build a better understanding of what way to go and how fast to move, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said after the talks with Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Tashkent on 8 February, BelTA has learned.

The head of state emphasized that the negotiations in the narrow format were akin to a meeting of not just friends, but very close friends and brothers. “We are on the same page. We acknowledge what we have missed [in previous years]. We need to catch up. You know my attitude towards you, towards the Uzbek people. I told him [President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev]: if you like something in Belarus and if you need it, we are ready to share the most advanced technologies and do whatever you ask for. We are ready for this,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

The president invited his counterpart to visit Belarus this year and expressed confidence that after the substantial and meaningful negotiations in Tashkent, the parties will be able to make significant progress in bilateral cooperation within the year.

"I think we will do much more within a year. Today, everyone has understood where to move and how quickly in order to resolve the issues. We will support the Uzbek people and Uzbekistan as much as we can. We wish you every success on your way towards your goals," the Belarusian head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus, in cooperation with other countries, offers a broad agenda, including technology exchange. Opponents and ill-wishers sometimes question this idea that Belarus, being a small country, can offer some technologies. In this regard, the head of state recalled that Belarus has been a high-tech hub since the times of the Soviet Union. “That was the result of the division of labor and production specialization in our once common country,” he said.

"We did not squander our capacities in the 1990s. The president [of Uzbekistan] knows this very well. He knows Belarus very well," the Belarusian leader stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that in the Soviet period Belarus had a solid cotton textile industry, and cotton was supplied from Uzbekistan. “We bought, processed and exported goods, which meant we dealt with a huge amount of exports. This required high technology. Otherwise, we would not have been able to sell these products abroad. We were lucky in this respect.”

The head of state also mentioned that Belarus suffered a lot during the Great Patriotic War, and other Soviet Union republics helped rebuild the country in the post-war years. The main high-tech industrial base was developed through joint efforts. All this has been preserved and is mostly state-run today. Great results have also been achieved in agriculture.

“I am saying this to underline that Belarus has technologies that Uzbekistan needs today and tomorrow. This is because we stand on the shoulders of the giants who created what we have in Belarus today. We are brotherly countries. The president has rightly said that Belarusians and Uzbeks are very similar – tolerant and flexible. We begrudge no one, take nothing away from anyone, and we do not fight. We are hard-working people and are ready to seek and find our own happiness.” 

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