Raisi meets Lukashenko, says his priority is economy

September 17, 2021 - 22:25

TEHRAN - "The priority of the Iranian administration is economic, and we seek to develop economic relations in the region," President Ebrahim Raisi said in a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday evening on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

"I seek to develop economic relations in the region and I have instructed the economic and technical ministers to pursue the implementation of joint agreements," Raisi said.

The trip to the SCO summit was the first foreign trip by Raisi since he took office in early August. 

The SCO meeting officially started on Thursday a ran until Friday.

Raisi said the level of economic relations between Iran and Belarus was not satisfactory, adding that a quick completion of joint projects could accelerate and facilitate expansion of bilateral economic interactions.

Both Iranian and Belarussian presidents say the level of economic ties not commensurate with capacities.

"Tehran and Minsk have very good grounds and capacities for expanding relations, and good and constructive bilateral political relations can effectively contribute to the operationalization of these capacities as much as possible and faster," Raisi pointed out.

Mutual provision of goods and services required by Iran and Belarus from each other is one of the good grounds for strengthening economic relations, Raisi noted.

"Developing regional relations is one way to counter sanctions, and countries like Iran and Belarus have found ways and means to overcome sanctions," Raisi said, referring to the U.S. administration's acknowledgment of the failure of the policy of “maximum pressure” on the Iranian people.

For his part, Lukashenko said: "No country has succeeded in imposing sanctions on other countries, and sanctions are essentially a failed policy in the world." 

Emphasizing his interest in expanding economic relations and cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lukashenko said: "The current level of economic relations between the two countries is in no way commensurate with the friendly political relations between Iran and Belarus and we must expand economic relations as much as possible by using the available capacities."

He added: "We need to form a joint working group in addition to accelerating the completion of joint projects to develop an operational roadmap to improve relations between the two countries."

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