Libya's Kadhafi plans visit to Belarus
Libyan leader Muamar Kadhafi will pay his first official visit to a former Soviet republic later this month when he flies to Belarus for talks with President Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarus foreign ministry announced Thursday, August 16.
Kadhafi is paying a return visit to the Belarus capital after Lukashenko's visit to Tripoli in October last year, the ministry said, without providing specific dates for the Minsk summit. The visit is Kadhafi's first to Europe since he made a tour of the former Warsaw Pact nations that were allied with the Soviet Union in 1978.
Lukashenko, who is seeking re-election next month, earlier this year announced that Libya was ready to extend some $100 million in financing to help Belarus stabilize its currency. The two isolated nations established formal diplomatic relations in August, 1996 and have since exchanged visits from a series of business delegations in an effort to establish stronger trade ties.
Trade between Minsk and Tripoli added up to some three million dollars last year, primarily from Belarus manufacturing industry exports, according to ministry figures. However Lukashenko has come under attack from the weak Belarus opposition for attempting to forge close ties with the Libyan leader, who faces US sanctions for allegedly supporting international terrorism. ― (AFP, Minsk)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)