by H.E.Mr. Sergey Martynov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, at the meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council at the level of Ministers
Distinguished Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
After a decade of cooperation we can state that the results achieved by our Partnership in fostering stability in the Euro-Atlantic area are quite remarkable. They produce a valuable evidence of its viability and strength in addressing current and future challenges.
The Euro-Atlantic Partnership grew to play an important role in counteracting international terrorism. Central Asia and Caucasus are among key regions in this battle. At the same time we cannot forget that the way to and from these regions is through the East and South-East Europe. Joint fight with terrorism must be comprehensive. Otherwise it will not yield result. Well-balanced fine-tuning of the Partnership mechanisms is needed.
Being a part of the antiterrorist coalition Belarus is ready to contribute to achieving the goals of the EAPC in these regions by providing assistance in training personnel of antiterrorist special forces of partner countries from Central Asia with using our military infrastructure.
Situated at the crossroads of many trans-European routes to these regions my country makes a most solid contribution to fighting illegal migration, traffic of drugs, weapons, fissile, chemical and biological materials. Belarus is willing to strengthen cooperation with our EAPC partners in all these fields.
We are ready to make our territory available for transit of cargoes and personnel of forces of ISAF bound for Afghanistan. Belarus is prepared to provide the transport aircraft with a trained crew which is declared by our country in the framework of the Partnership.
It has been broadly recognized that constantly growing drug trafficking originating from Afghanistan creates the financial base for terrorists and provokes instability in the country. Being a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Belarus appreciates the increasingly active use of capabilities and experiences gained by CSTO in the post-Soviet space and especially in Central Asia. We believe the time is ripe to establish cooperation between CSTO and NATO in anti-drug trafficking actions. Only through joint efforts of all international actors we can efficiently combat drug trafficking in the region, prevent illegal migration, trafficking in human beings and illicit trade in arms.
Turning to a broader picture, Belarus believes that it is important to engage both NATO and CSTO in a more meaningful and pragmatic cooperation, especially on issues of new threats. Holding in the nearest future in-depth consultations between NATO and CSTO on questions of mutual concern and interest could be an important tool to achieve it.
Individually Belarus stands firmly for the further development and reinforcement of our Partnership. We will continue to pursue the efforts to reach the necessary level of interoperability of our military forces with NATO armed forces, and to prepare national peacekeeping contingent by using the tools of the Planning and Review Process (PARP). Our Individual Partnership Program for 2005-2006 is designed to better achieve these purpose.
I'm confident that the development of cooperation in political and military fields within the EAPC will contribute to strengthening the stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Thank you for your attention.