On 8-11 March 2023, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming paid an official visit to Minsk at the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Aleinik.
During the visit, the SCO Secretary-General was received by President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik and visited the CIS Executive Committee, where he met with CIS First Deputy Secretary General Leonid Anfimov.
Alexander Lukashenko welcomed Zhang Ming's visit and praised the SCO's role in maintaining security and stability, both in the region and around the world, as well as in upholding multilateralism and developing cooperation in all areas of activity. The President of the Republic of Belarus thanked the leaders of the SCO member states for their decision to start the procedure of Belarus' accession to the SCO as a member state that had been taken at the SCO Heads of State Council meeting in Samarkand in September 2022. The Belarusian side hopes that this process will be completed as soon as possible. It has made all the necessary preparations and looks forward to achieving this goal with the support of the SCO presiding state, member states and the SCO Secretariat. This will be a new contribution to the development of the Organisation, to ensuring stability and prosperity in the region.
The SCO Secretary-General commended the approach of the Republic of Belarus. The country has been actively involved in the interaction with the SCO in a wide range of areas for a long time. Zhang Ming said that owing to this visit he could once again sense the Belarusian side’s sincere desire and enthusiasm for joining the SCO as a full-fledged member. He pointed out that the granting of that status to Belarus had been endorsed by all the member states, which were finalising the relevant legal procedures. The Secretariat will always be guided by a serious approach and will do its utmost to promote and coordinate this process.
The parties also had a thorough exchange of views on the international and regional situation, on the key points of the SCO’s activities and promising areas of Belarus' involvement in cooperation within the Organisation.
At the CIS Executive Committee, Zhang Ming had a discussion with CIS First Deputy Secretary General Leonid Anfimov on deepening interaction between the two organisations, implementing the relevant documents on cooperation and planning annual joint events.