CAIRO: Egypt proposed to cooperate with Belarus in the field of optics used to monitor satellites and for space purposes, said visiting Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Viktar A. Gaisenak.
A group of Belarusian scientists will visit Egypt soon to study cooperation in the field and Belarus forwarded an invitation to Hany Helal, minister of higher education and state minister for scientific research, to visit Minsk, Gaisenak told The Daily Star Egypt.
Egypt launched a Ukrainian-made satellite last April from Kazakhstan. The satellite, dubbed the earth surveillance satellite, was built for development purposes, which include searching for minerals, reconstruction, cultivation and combating desertification. Egypt is also building a space station to monitor this satellite and others in the pipeline.
Belarus also voiced the possibility of Egyptian students completing their post-graduate studies at Belarusian universities. Only 35 Egyptian students study in Belarus at present.
Gaisenak, who left Egypt yesterday, headed the Belarusian delegation at the fourth round of Egypt-Belarus political consultations held in Cairo on May 13. Ambassador Fatma Al-Zahra led the Egyptian committee.
Other issues under discussion included guaranteeing Egyptian support of the Belarusian candidacy at the elections of the Council of Human Rights and vice versa, said the deputy minister, adding that Egypt and Belarus are used to supporting each other at international forums, including the Non-Alignment Movement of which Belarus is the only European member.
Belarus sees Egypt s role in the region as pivotal, especially its mediation in Palestinian-Israeli issues, the deputy minister added.
The two sides also discussed ways of increasing bilateral trade. Egypt-Belarus trade exchange reached $50 million last year.
“There is a lot of potential, the deputy minister said. “We spoke of holding the second round of the inter-governmental commission in Minsk by July or August, he added. A delegation of businessmen will accompany Minister of Trade and Industry Rachid Mohamed Rachid, he noted. Egypt could export medicine, textiles and cotton to Belarus, he elaborated. During his visit to the Arab League (AL), Gaisenak signed a protocol of cooperation with Ali Seifel Yazl, the assistant of the AL secretary general, on whose power Belarusian ambassador to Egypt will be accredited to the AL.
We would like to strengthen our relations with all Arab countries, Gaisenak stressed.
Belarus opened its first embassy in the region in Cairo in 1997 after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. Other embassies were later opened in the UAE, Syria and Libya.