MINSK, 12 February (BelTA) – Belarus plans to open its embassies in Australia, Qatar, Mongolia, Pakistan and Ecuador in 2014. Also among the plans are the opening of diplomatic missions in Iraq and Angola, reads the Belarusian Foreing Minsitry's foreing policy review 2013, BelTA learned.
Today, Belarus maintains diplomatic relations with 173 countries, i.e. 90% of the UN membership.
Last year Belarus issued over 390,000 visas for more than 400,000 foreigners and stateless persons. The Foreign Ministry and foreign establishments paid special attention to consular assistance for Belarusian citizens in emergency situations on the territory of foreign states, protection of legal rights and interests of Belarusians abroad. According to the Foreign Ministry, the most complicated situations that required extreme vigilance and a whole array of measures from consular officials occurred in Ukraine, Syria, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Abkhazia, Mexico, Yemen. Belarus kept in close contacts with Russian colleagues in the countries where it has no diplomatic missions.
In 2013 the Foreign Ministry’s efforts were also aimed at the development of the bilateral legal framework governing mutual trips of citizens. There were signed intergovernmental agreements on visa issues with Singapore, the UAE, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Bolivia, Brazil, Turkey. A number of agreements on visa-free trips for holders of diplomatic and service passports came into force. The ministry also worked on draft international agreements regulating trips of citizens to other countries.
Last year Belarus signed a total of 175 international agreements and other international legal documents. Of them 115 were bilateral and 60 multilateral agreements. Today the legal framework of Belarus’ bilateral relations comprises 2160 international agreements signed with 101 states. The country’s multilateral cooperation is based on 1630 international agreements within 15 international organizations and integration associations. Bilateral economic agreements remain a priority in the development of the national legal framework, the Foreign Ministry noted.