India, Belarus to strengthen bilateral ties: Lok Sabha Speaker

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Belarus, June 13 (IANS) Expressing India’s firm commitment in strengthening the already warm relations with Belarus, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday emphasized on enhancing commercial and economic relations between the two countries.

“India and Belarus are time-tested friends and good feelings between the two countries need to be supported by the enhancement in commercial and economic cooperation,” she said after meeting Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Mahajan is leading an Indian Parliamentary Delegation comprising of Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Jayshreeben Patel, K. Keshava Rao, Arvind Sawant and G.V.L. Narasimha Rao to Belarus, Latvia and Finland.

She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s use of the term “security” at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit implied not merely territorial security but also security in other areas.

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“The Government of India is well aware that our defence cooperation with Russia has always included Belarus and its production facilities in the background. We are keen on furthering this relationship by establishing joint ventures in the fields of mutual interest and benefit,” she said in a statement issued by Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Keeping in mind India’s SMART cities programme, she welcomed Belarusian technology for not just SMART transportation but also for SMART water, electricity, sewage disposal and green buildings.

During the discussion, the Belarus President emphasized the need to give a firm direction to the India-Belarus bilateral relations so that they may evolve in the right manner in the future.

“The two countries already have convergent views on most issues and support each other in all multilateral fora, but their commercial relations need a further push. Promoting joint ventures and mutual investment is the way forward,” he said.

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Mahajan assured Lukashenko of her support and willingness to convey Belarusian concerns to the Indian government.

–IANS

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