27 Apr 2023 14:44

Belarusian, Chinese defense ministers discuss military cooperation

MINSK. April 27 (Interfax) - Belarusian Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin and his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu have discussed military cooperation, the press service for the Belarusian Defense Ministry said.

"A bilateral meeting between Belarusian Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Viktor Khrenin and Chinese State Council member, Defense Minister Col. Gen. Li Shangfu has taken place in New Delhi, India. The advanced level of Belarusian-Chinese bilateral relations, which have the nature of a durable, comprehensive strategic partnership, was underlined at the negotiations," the press service said.

"The sides exchanged views on the status and prospects for military cooperation, and made cooperation plans for the near future," it said.

Khrenin is visiting India for a meeting of the defense ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The meeting, which will take place in New Delhi on April 28, will address a number of military matters, as well as threats and challenges to regional and international security.

Belarus was designated an SCO dialogue partner in 2010, and became an official observer in 2015. The decision to begin Belarus' accession to the SCO was made at a meeting of the organization's Council of the Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in September 2022.

The SCO consists of Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are observer states. It was announced on January 25, 2023, that Iran had finalized legal formalities to become an SCO member.