Belarus is seeking long-term economic ties with Iraq, the prime minister of the former Soviet republic said Friday, March 30, after a meeting with Iraqi industry minister Adnan Jasim.
"We don't just want to develop trade exchanges but above all a serious and last economic relationship with Iraq," said Prime Minister Vladimir Ermoshin.
The Belarus leader also called during a press conference for a complete lifting of international sanctions against Iraq.
President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus agreed in principle last December to visit Iraq, but no date has yet been set for the trip.
A Byelorussian delegation visited Baghdad in December on a direct flight from Minsk despite an air embargo on Iraq. On arrival, Belarus officials said their country would open an air link with Baghdad and organize weekly flights.
Iraq has been under international sanctions for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Lukashenko's Belarus regime has come under widespread international criticism for authoritarianism and civil rights abuses. — (AFP, Minsk)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)