Aliaksandr Lukashenka expects the Roman Catholic church to play a more active role in improving relations between Belarus and Western Europe. He made the relevant statement as he met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to Belarus Paul Friedrich von Fuhrherr on April 9, 2012 due to the end of the ambassador’s diplomatic mission in Belarus.
«Frankly speaking, we counted on more in cooperation with the Catholic church. We believe that the Catholic church obviously underworks in mending ties between Belarus and Western Europe, not mention the European Union: it is well known who plays the first fiddle there. Therefore, we would like you to convey this message», state news agency Belta quotes Lukashenka.
«You have a serious impact within the Holy See, and there are lots of influential people who must at last sort out what is going on in relations with the country where the catholic confession takes the second place in the former Soviet Union» , the president told Paul Friedrich von Fuhrherr.
«Your mission has been aimed only at strengthening friendship between Belarus and the Order of Malta. After working here for eight years you have given a grounding in good relations between us,» Aliaksandr Lukashenka said. He also expressed confidence that the new ambassador of the Order of Malta would follow the same principles.
Mr. Lukashenka thanked the ambassador for assistance provided by the order under Chernobyl relief programs targeting Belarusian children, as well as health and cultural projects. «If you saw that you were able to help, you helped. It costs much. We want all Western ambassadors to work here in such a manner for the purpose of forging good relations with Belarus.»
In his turn, Paul Friedrich von Fuhrherr stated that the Order of Malta attempted to influence the dialogue between Belarus and the West as far as possible.