Home | News    Friday 18 February 2005

Eritrea wants to repair aircraft, air defence systems in Belarus

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By Belarusian news agency Belapan

MINSK, Feb 17, 2005 (Belapan) — Eritrea wants to repair aircraft and air defence systems in Belarus, Teklai Menassie Asgedom, the country’s ambassador to Russia, told Mikalay Charhinets, international affairs and national security committee chairman in the upper house of parliament, on 17 February.

Eritrea repairs Mi-17 helicopters in Orsha [Vitsebsk Region] and wants to repair aircraft at a factory in Baranavichy [Brest Region], the ambassador said.

The African country’s defence expenditure makes up 20 per cent of its GDP, according to figures provided by the Council of the Republic, Belarusian parliament’s upper house.

The diplomat noted that trade between Belarus and Eritrea has been negligible.

Asgedom said he was aware of Belarus’s economic potential and would like the latter to be involved in the reconstruction of Eritrea after a protracted war with Ethiopia.

He added that the Belarusian government is expected to draft trade, investment protection, culture and education agreements and send them to his country’s government for consideration.

The Eritrean diplomat is soon to present his credentials to Belarusian leader Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

Charhinets pointed out that the accreditation of the envoy opens up good prospects for economic cooperation above all.

He said that Belarus works closely with African countries, offering training and supplying goods such as heavy-duty lorries.

Charhinets said the National Assembly would like to establish ties with the Eritrean legislature.

Material provided by the BBC Monitoring service.

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