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India-Belarus Joint Statement during the State visit of the President of the Republic of Belarus to India (September 11-12, 2017)

September 12, 2017

At the invitation of the President of India, Honourable Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of the Republic of Belarus, H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko, is paying a State visit to the Republic of India from 11-12 September 2017.

The visit is taking place in a year when India and Belarus are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

During the visit, the President of the Republic of Belarus had meetings with the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and the External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj.

The talks were held in a warm and friendly atmosphere when the two sides reviewed the present state of relations and discussed way ahead to strengthen the all-round development of bilateral cooperation.

Following their talks, the Indian Side and Belarusian Side:
  • Declare the intention to move into an active phase of intensifying cooperation in order to raise the level of India-Belarus relations and head towards strategic partnership.
  • Reiterate they adhere to the principle of non-interference into internal affairs of independent States, increasing the role of an independent State as an institution of global governance. Belarus welcomes increase of influence and global capability of India and India applauds the key position of Belarus in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Stress the importance of peaceful resolution of any international disputes.
  • Believe that there is a need to reform the United Nations and in particular, the United Nations Security Council to make it more representative of contemporary realities and to respond more effectively to emerging challenges and threats. They express support to the Intergovernmental Negotiations on United Nations Security Council reform. Belarus reaffirms its strong support to India’s candidature for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council.
  • Condemn any forms of terrorism and extremism and demonstrate their commitment to strengthening global security. They affirm their support for an early adoption of the U.N. Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that will advance and strengthen the framework for global cooperation and reinforce the message that acts, methods and practices of terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstances, regardless of their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomsoever they are committed. Belarus strongly condemns acts of terrorism against India resulting in loss of precious innocent lives.
  • Stress that terrorism is a global scourge that must be fought and terrorist safe havens rooted out in every part of the world. India and Belarus are committed to strengthen cooperation against threats from globally designated terrorists irrespective of their origin.
  • Have a shared commitment to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In this context, Belarus welcomes India’s application for membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group and believes that India’s admission into the Group would strengthen global non-proliferation objectives.
  • Pledge to work together to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and to deny access to such weapons by terrorists and non-state actors.
  • Work closely in relevant international fora against drug trafficking and transnational organized crime, including trafficking in persons, illegal smuggling of migrants, as well as emerging crimes like, among others, trafficking in human organs and trafficking in cultural property.
  • Underline their readiness to share experience and best practices of the process of national implementation of Sustainable Development Goals adopted as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda at the United Nations Summit in September 2015.
  • Welcome intense interaction at all levels including Foreign Office Consultations in November 2016, Joint Commission on Military Technical Cooperation meeting in May 2017 and Inter-Governmental Commission meeting in July 2017.
  • Visualize that the two countries will become close partners in development, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, defence and security.
  • Assess positively the growth and direction of bilateral defence and security cooperation. The leaders agree that cooperation in this sphere should focus on joint development of defence products, including transfer of technology.
  • Note that bilateral trade and investment relations are modest and have a lot of potential for two-way growth. Belarus, in recent years, has emerged as a good source of potash fertilizers for India which is valuable for the agriculture sector. Pharmaceuticals are key exports from India to Belarus; Indian companies have also been playing an important role by providing technology, substance and investments in the pharmaceuticals sector in Belarus.
  • Agree to explore synergies between the two countries’ capacities and needs including immense opportunities that exist in localization of Belarus' industrial production in India in the context of the 'Make in India' initiative.
  • Applaud forward movement in Belarus’ membership of WTO. Belarus appreciates that India accorded Market Economy Status to Belarus in 2015.
  • Express happiness at launch of FTA negotiation between India and Eurasian Economic Union scheduled from 20-22 September, 2017 in Goa. India welcomes the proposal of the Belarusian Side to establish Orsha Multi-modal Industrial Logistics and Innovation Cluster located in the strategic area of Bolbasovo in Belarus as one of the Free Economic Zones of Eurasian Economic Union.
  • Agree to enhance the bilateral relations in the hydrocarbon sector. Both sides encourage their oil and gas companies to explore ways for promoting investments and cooperation in the upstream and downstream areas, through technical cooperation, sharing of experience and technical know-how, technology transfer, including through applied research and joint development activities, particularly in the area of enhanced oil recovery and development of mature fields in India.
  • Underline the need to expand business and cooperation in the field of textiles, clothing and fashion industries.
  • Note the successful conduct of the India-Belarus Business Forum held in New Delhi in September 2017 and the signing of a number of important contracts / agreements between business enterprises of the two sides.
  • Stress the importance of improving regional connectivity for realizing the full potential of trade and underline the importance of International North South Transport Corridor in this context. Belarus welcomes signing of trilateral agreement among India, Iran and Afghanistan on establishing Chahbahar Transport and Transit which would further enhance connectivity.
  • Underline that S&T is an active area of bilateral collaboration. They declare mutual interest in the advanced technology exchange. International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy & New Materials set up at Hyderabad in 1993 with Belarusian support is a landmark in high tech research collaboration between the two countries. The Day of Belarusian Science was organized in New Delhi in November 2016. An India-Belarus Workshop on nanotechnology and New materials was organized at Gurugram also in 2016.
  • Aspire to undertake applied research with the aim of jointly creating products and services in "smart branches” of economy including nuclear, space, green, nano and bio technologies, robotics, information and communication technologies, by leveraging the strengths of the Sides and working towards "knowledge-based societies”.
  • Stress the importance of education and skills for economic development, and reaffirm the need for universal access to high-quality education and welcome holding the first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Education between the two Sides.
  • Note that Belarus is a partner country in Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation program. So far around 300 Belarusian nationals have been trained in various courses in India under this program.
  • Express happiness at the successful running of the Grodno Power Plant inaugurated in 2015.
  • Underline the importance of traditional systems of medicine in improving the healthcare of the people across the globe. The Indian side informs about, and the Belarusian side welcomes, the AYUSH Scholarship Scheme for foreign nationals to pursue degree courses in Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddhha and Homoeopathy courses in premier Institutes in India.
  • Undertake to actively facilitate business to business and people to people contacts. Belarusians take a keen interest in India’s culture, cuisine, films, music and dance, Yoga and Ayurveda. Many Belarusians have taken keen interest in learning Hindi and classical dances of India. Indian Council of Cultural Relations every year offers scholarships to Belarusian students in performing arts in various Indian institutions.
  • Intend to further foster development of tourism including by easing the visa regime. India welcomes the February 2017 announcement by Belarus to include India among countries that will be allowed 5-day visa free travel.
  • Agree to cooperate on youth matters and their priorities.
  • Express readiness to establish in their respective countries environment welcoming of each other’s nationals on the principle of understanding and mutual benefit. Belarus in this context informs about steps it is taking to create "Indian-friendly environment” in Belarus and to intensify cooperation with the Indian diaspora in Belarus. India welcomes these steps stating that our respective diaspora could act like bridges to cement bilateral relations in all areas.
  • Welcome organization of events in different cities in both countries to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2017-18.

Hon’ble Prime Minister
of the Republic of India
Shri Narendra Modi

Hon’ble President
of the Republic of Belarus
H.E. Alexander Lukashenko


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