On the occasion of his trip to Belarus, Dirk Wiese, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, issued the following statement today (4 December):
I am delighted to travel again to Belarus for the Minsk Forum because it is important to me to maintain close contact with the country. The fact that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange and the 20th anniversary of the German-Belarusian Association shows that intersocietal contacts between Germany and Belarus are established and vibrant. Particularly at this time, we can build on these foundations as the country is currently at a crucial juncture in its development. We foster dialogue with Belarus both at bilateral level and in particular as part of the European Union’s Eastern Partnership.
For me personally, it is important that alongside dialogue between politicians and diplomats, representatives of all parts of society get to have their say, also figures from academia, business, culture and civil society. Key European values such as democracy and the rule of law have to be part of this dialogue so that progress can be made in these fields.
I consider it particularly important that the German political foundations who have made a tremendous contribution to German-Belarusian understanding are again able to have offices in Belarus.
In Minsk, Coordinator Wiese is attending the Minsk Forum organised by the German-Belarusian Association on 4 and 5 December. This annual forum brings together between 200 and 300 experts from the fields of politics, diplomacy, academia, business and civil society from Belarus, Germany and other EU countries. This year’s Forum is dedicated to the topic “The Place of Belarus in Europe. Chances for Foreign Policy, Economy, Civil Society and Culture”.