AMN / CAMP: MINISK (BELARUS)
Lok Sabha Speaker Mrs. Sumitra Mahajan, who was leading an Indian Parliamentary Goodwill Delegation to Belarus, called on the Belarusian President Mr. Alexander Lukashenko on Tuesday and discussed issues of mutual concern with him. She expressed firm commitment to strengthening already warm and friendly relations.
The Speaker mentioned that India and Belarus were time-tested friends and said that the good feelings between the two countries need to be supported by enhancement in commercial and economic cooperation.
She said that PM Mr. Narendra Modi’s use of the term “Security” at the SCO Summit implies not merely territorial security but also security in other areas including economy. She added that 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 also mentioned the SMART cities programme of India and said that the Belarusian technology for not just SMART transportation but also SMART water, electricity, sewage disposal and green buildings would be very welcome.
Mr. Lukashenko 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. He said that the two countries already have convergent views on most issues and support each other in all multilateral fora, but their commercial relations definitely need a further push. Promoting joint ventures and mutual investment is the way forward.
In a lighter vein, Mr. Lukashenko mentioned that he had informed PM Modi, on the sidelines of SCO meeting in Qindao, that half of Belarus’ population is already into YOGA and that he himself was planning to start Yoga exercises. Speaker mentioned, from personal experience, that she could confirm that Yoga is truly effective and has greatly helped her to carry out her duties and responsibilities far more effectively and without undergoing the stress associated with public life. She also assured the President of her support and her willingness to convey Belarusian concerns and desire for cooperation to the Indian Government. She added that the Indian Parliament would extend all assistance towards shaping the Government’s policies in the context of cooperation with Belarus.