Minsk - Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko affirmed on Tuesday that Syria is Belarus's main partner in the Middle East, and that his country can cooperate with all other countries in the region through Syria.
This statement was made during President Lukashenko's meeting with Speaker of the Syrian People's Assembly Dr. Mahmoud al-Abrash.
Lukashenko lauded the growing relations between the two friendly countries, saying "Belarus views Syria as an old friend and an important and effective partner that is respected on the arena of international relations."
He said Syrian-Belarusian relations are based on complete trust and mutual respect, noting that both countries' policies refuse foreign pressure and dictations and preserve their independence and integrity.
Lukashenko pointed out that developing economic relations between Syria and Belarus benefits both countries, hoping that joint economic projects expand and develop more.
He also expressed readiness to export all Belarusian products to Syria and establish joint projects with Syria, in addition to multilateral projects with other countries like Venezuela.
The President indicated that relation between the two countries' leadership directly boosts bilateral relations.
For his part, al-Abrash said Syria and Belarus are working to establish a joint free trade zone.
Earlier on Tuesday, al-Abrash and the accompanying delegation discussed with President of Belarus National Assembly, Vladimir Andreichenko, mutual parliamentary activities and means for bolstering them.
The two sides formed a joint parliamentary committee for following up relations between the two countries.
Al-Abrash also discussed with Speaker of the Council of Republic of Belarus Anatoli Rubinov and other Belarusian officials issues related to developing relations.
Al-Abrash, Andreichenko and Rubinov signed an annex to the cooperation agreement between the two countries' parliaments.
President Lukashenko visited Syria in 2003 and 2005 and held talks with President al-Assad on boosting cooperation between the two countries in all fields.
Syria and Belarus signed a number of agreements on education, higher education, tourism, business and sports in 2009.
By H. Sabbagh / Mazen/ M.O./ Zahra