Putin’s main ally wants Turkey’s money. Erdogan promises to visit Belarus

Belarusian president Alyaksandr Lukashenka and his Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting in Istanbul.

“It is high time we update the agenda of cooperation, adjust the roadmap of our relations,” state-run news agency BelTA quotes Lukashenka as saying.

According to him, Belarus is open to cooperation with Turkey.

The presidents talked over the prospects for increasing Turkish investment in Belarus, more active cooperation in tourism, including through increasing the number of flights between the two countries.

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The Belarusian leader thanked Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the invitation to the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), emphasizing the importance for our country to attend such a large-scale forum. The summit will also promote the establishment of new contacts to boost trade and economic cooperation with a number of countries, Lukashenka believes.

In his turn, the Turkish president confirmed his readiness to pay a visit to Belarus and called it ‘an island of stability in the region’. The leaders also discussed the international agenda.

The relations between Russia, Belarus’ official main ally, and Turkey deteriorated after the latter shot down the Russian Su-24 warplane. French president Francois Hollande even apprehended danger of a new war might start. Visiting Turkey, Alyaksandr Lukashenka may be demontrating to the West that he is an independent actor on the international scene, not Vladimir Putin’s string puppet.

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The issue of a [Russian] military base in Belarus, today’s visit to Ankara, his cautious attitude to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh – all these factors might contribute to the West’s decision to further support Belarus, political analyst Pavel Usau said.


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