Outgoing French ambassador meets reporters

Mireille Musso, the French ambassador to Belarus, met with reporters in Minsk on Wednesday on the occasion of the expiration of her term of office.

She said that the governments of the two countries would soon sign a framework agreement on cooperation in the spheres of culture, education, science, technology and the media.

She stressed that she views culture as a very important component of relations between nations and a very important part in the live of every person.

According to the ambassador, a Belarusian delegation led by First Deputy Prime Minister Uladzimir Syamashka will pay a visit to France in early 2010. The delegation would include directors and representatives of Belarusian companies, who are expected to meet with managers of French companies and the chief adviser to the French president to discuss issues concerning cooperation and investment policy.

“We hope this visit will give a new impetus to political and economic relations between our countries,” she said.

The ambassador noted that France tries to provide every kind of support for the European Union’s Eastern Partnership program. “In our opinion, this initiative will contribute to preferential cooperation between the European Union and the six countries participating in the program,” she said. “We believe that these countries will thereby get closer to the EU and its values and find out how the European Union functions politically and economically.”

Ms. Musso said that she was leaving with the hope that Belarus would be evolving and developing and would ultimately take a decent place in the family of European nations.

Europe does not give directives but believes that European values are important for everyone, the ambassador said. “One should not be afraid of the values. They help live and develop and contribute to peace between nations,” she noted.

Ms. Musso wished the Belarusians to “use the advantages of freedom and all values that exist in the European community.” “I hope very much that Belarus will follow us along this path because this is important for the Belarusians,” she said.