Lukashenko: External developments make Belarus, Iran search for new forms of cooperation
The situation in the world prompts Belarus and Iran to look for new forms of cooperation, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran to Belarus Saeed Yari, BelTA has learned.
Reviewing cooperation with Iran, the Belarusian head of state noted that the results could have been much bigger, but everything that has been done during the ambassador's term in office will pave the way for closer bilateral relations in the future. “Of course, as I have said, we could have done more, but the situation in the world and around Iran and Belarus, fortunately, makes us get closer and look for those forms of cooperation that could benefit us the most,” the Belarusian leader said.
The president assessed the level of bilateral trade as normal, but noted that he would like to see it ‘more multifaceted'. “We need to advance from simple trade to cooperation. We need to create joint production facilities in Iran and Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko is convinced.
The Belarusian head of state also expressed interest in the International North–South Transport Corridor, which is a joint project of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran. This project, in particular, was discussed at the meeting of the presidents of Belarus and Russia. “We have a huge interest in this project,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
“You see that our states and their leaderships are facing many tasks. I very much hope that your further work, including in Tehran, will contribute to the expansion of our relations. I think that you will be personally interested in this,” the president said addressing the outgoing ambassador of Iran.
Belarus and Iran were actively promoting trade and economic cooperation in 2022. The trade exceeded $100 million, up 3 times over 2021: about $101 million vs $33.3 million. At the same time, Belarusian exports to Iran soared almost 6 times - $81.3 million in 2022 vs $14 million in 2021. Belarus' major exports to Iran were potash fertilizers, specific goods, timber, synthetic threads. Iran's major exports to Belarus included nuts, fresh fruit, butter, vegetables, lettuce.