“It is time to boost the cooperation,” President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said during his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul in the evening of April 13.
Lukashenko called the Turkish leader to “update the agenda of cooperation” and “adjust the road map of the relations.” According to the Belarusian president’s press office, the two leaders discussed potential growth of Turkey’s investments in the Belarusian economy, enhancing tourism through more intensive air communication and others measures. Erdoğan called Belarus “an island of stability in the region” and confirmed his intention to visit Minsk.
According to tut.by, the greatest part of the Lukashenko-Erdoğan meeting was behind the closed doors and media have no data of the real content of the talks. The two presidents met on a yacht. Representatives and the leaders of Bahrain, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Cameroon, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, Qatar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Yemen, Côte d'Ivoire, Pakistan, Guinea, as well as the head of the Palestinian delegation were on the yacht too. Later, Erdoğan invited the Belarusian leader to the presidential palace. Prior to the meeting with Lukashenko, the Turkish leader met with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
As EADaily reported earlier, formally, the goal of Lukashenko’s visit to Istanbul was participation in the conference of the Organization of Islamic Conference. It is noteworthy that Minsk has taken a neutral stand on the Russian-Turkish strain and has not supported politically its official ally Russia after in November 2015 the Turkish air force shot down a Russian warplane Su-24 over Syria. “Mistakes are inevitable. We should not stoke tensions, but settle conflicts through concessions. This applies to the recent conflict of Russia and Turkey too,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
To recall, during the recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, Belarus Ambassador to Armenia Igor Nazaruk was summoned to the Foreign Ministry of Armenia on April 3. The ambassador was informed that Minsk’s statements on the situation in Karabakh do not meet the friendly Armenian-Belarusian relations and run contrary to the commitments of the two countries to the CSTO and other transnational organizations, as well as damage the negotiation process inciting the use of force in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict.