Pakistan and Belarus have taken a significant step towards strengthening their bilateral relationship by signing a visa waiver agreement. The agreement, which was announced by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during a joint press conference with Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik, aims to facilitate travel and exchanges between the two nations. This landmark agreement will benefit holders of diplomatic and official passports, allowing them to travel between Pakistan and Belarus without the need for visas.
Mutually Beneficial Goals
During the press conference, Foreign Minister Bhutto-Zardari highlighted the fruitful discussions held with Foreign Minister Aleinik, covering a wide range of areas of mutual interest. He emphasized that the long-term goals for the Pakistan-Belarus relationship include strengthening economic ties, expanding trade and investment, fostering scientific collaboration, promoting cultural exchanges, and deepening people-to-people contacts. The aim is to build a comprehensive and mutually beneficial partnership that contributes to the prosperity and well-being of both nations.
Belarus: A Valuable and Reliable Partner
The Foreign Minister of Belarus expressed his country’s view of Pakistan as a valuable and reliable partner in South Asia and the Muslim world. He emphasized that Belarus respects the right of countries to choose their own path of development and opposes interference in internal affairs and pressure in international relations. Belarus is committed to building mutually beneficial ties with Pakistan and will always be a friendly partner. Despite geographical and global changes, both countries share the desire to strengthen their relations.
Exploring Investment Opportunities
During the visit, the Belarusian delegation expressed their interest in further investment in Pakistan. They are considering setting up a vehicle and tractor-manufacturing factory, demonstrating their commitment to expanding economic cooperation. Belarus, like many countries, is facing illegal pressure in the form of sanctions, and this investment reflects their determination to overcome such challenges and contribute to Pakistan’s economic growth.
Comprehensive Cooperation and Joint Events
In a joint statement issued by the Foreign Office, it was highlighted that the two foreign ministers had substantive discussions covering political, economic, technological, cultural, educational, and multilateral cooperation. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the friendly relations between the two countries, which are based on mutual respect, friendship, and trust. They highly appreciated the bilateral meetings and interactions that have taken place in recent years, paving the way for enhanced cooperation.
Furthermore, the ministers expressed their interest in strengthening cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the United Nations, and other international organizations. They reaffirmed their readiness to mutually support each other on matters of mutual interest. Notably, the upcoming 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and Pakistan, marked on February 3, 2024, was acknowledged. Both countries welcomed the intention to develop a plan of joint events dedicated to this milestone, which will further strengthen their ties.
The signing of the visa waiver agreement between Pakistan and Belarus is a significant development that will foster closer ties and promote greater people-to-people exchanges. This agreement reflects the commitment of both nations to strengthen economic cooperation, expand trade and investment, and deepen cultural and scientific collaboration. The positive discussions held during the visit and the joint statement issued by the Foreign Office highlight the mutual respect, friendship, and trust that underpin the relationship between Pakistan and Belarus. As they look forward to commemorating the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the two countries are poised to further enhance their cooperation and achieve their shared goals of prosperity and well-being.