Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko have signed a roadmap for comprehensive cooperation between their countries.
The signing ceremony was attended by senior officials from both nations, who also signed cooperation documents covering various fields such as commerce, transportation, agriculture, culture, art, and the transfer of prisoners. Additionally, an executive program document was signed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
While addressing a joint press conference, President Raisi emphasized that “Iran and Belarus have designed a comprehensive road map for the development of their strategic relations in various fields, which will definitely lead to a different future.”
“This roadmap, based on the conditions and capacities of Iran and Belarus, will clarify the path of the two countries for cooperation in political, economic and cultural fields,” the Iranian president added.
He further commented on the signed agreements in various areas, including industry, mining, trade, agriculture, and roads, saying that implementing these agreements will reinforce bilateral ties and safeguard the interests of both nations.
According to Ebrahim Raisi, Iran and Belarus “can have very good cooperation with each other by using the capacity of Shanghai [Cooperation Organization] and Eurasian Economic Union and develop this cooperation based on common positions and interests.”
Iran is in the final stages of joining the SCO and is actively seeking to strengthen its ties with the EAEU. Meanwhile, Belarus is a member of both organizations. In 2021, the trade volume between Belarus and Iran exceeded $33 million, marking an increase of more than one-third compared to the previous year. In 2022, this figure rose to over $100 million, indicating a significant uptick in bilateral trade.
For his turn, the Belarus president who was on the two-day official visit to Tehran, said that “I must admit that no sanctions and pressure could stop the Iranian nation from progressing, and it is a fact that today Iran continues its independent and strong path.”
“There was a pause in the development of the relations between the two countries, but fortunately we successfully passed this period and today, many documents have been signed in different fields for cooperation between the two countries,” Lukashenko added. He described the positions of Iran and Belarus on international and regional issues as similar, saying, “Iran and Belarus both want to build a fair and multipolar world.”
In addition to their meetings, the Iranian and Belarusian presidents also visited an exhibition showcasing the knowledge-based capabilities and accomplishments of various Iranian companies operating in fields such as healthcare, electronic and telecommunication industries, oil and gas, petrochemicals, and power plant construction.
During his meeting with the Belarusian president on March 13, Iran’s Parliament Speaker, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, urged for an “acceleration” of banking and financial relations between the two countries. He suggested that stronger ties could be forged within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, especially since both nations are facing economic sanctions.
Lukashenko promised to tackle banking issues with Iran, saying that “upon my return to Minsk, I will order a resolution of the problem, and we will set up arrangements based on the same structure currently existing between Russia and Iran.”
In a meeting with the Belarusian president, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei emphasized that “the countries that have been sanctioned by the United States must cooperate with each other and form a united front to destroy the weapon of sanctions.”
Khamenei emphasized the various areas of cooperation between Iran and Belarus, including science and technology, transportation, commerce, and “political activities in international spheres.” He pointed out that “the establishment of the North-South Transport Corridor is in the interest of both countries, as well as Russia and the region. Both sides should work hard to create it.”
Lukashenko stated at the meeting that “I have come to Iran to assure you that I am determined to open a new page in the relations between the two countries, and with the cooperation and will of the Iranian president, we will implement all agreements with special follow-up and at certain ascertained times.”