Putin’s allies, Mnangagwa and Belarus’ Aleksandr Lukashenko close ranks

Alexander Lukashenko and Emmerson Mnangagwa

MINSK, (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has approved a draft agreement with Zimbabwe on setting up a permanent cooperation commission. The head of state signed relevant decree No.4 on 9 January, BelTA has learned.

The draft agreement has been okayed as the foundation for arranging negotiations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been authorized to conduct the negotiations and sign the agreement if the parties come to terms within limits of the approved draft.

Last year, the authoritarian Belarusian President was expected to make an official visit to Zimbabwe to hold talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa aimed at deepening cooperation between their two countries.

A Belarusian delegation led by the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Parkhomchik paid a courtesy call to President Mnangagwa in Harare.

“We are always strengthening our relations with Zimbabwe and during this visit, we discussed trade and economic development. We have increased trade and cooperation between the two countries,” said Parkhomchik after the meeting.

Belarus and Zimbabwe signed agreements in January 2019 when President Mnangagwa paid a visit to Minsk.

At the time, President Lukashenko said his administration saw great opportunities in Belarus-Zimbabwe cooperation. He promised to plan a visit to Harare.

According to reports of The Herald, trade between the two countries increased 15-fold over the past four years, covering various sectors.

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