Photo taken on Dec. 11, 2017 shows EU flags in front of European Commission headquarters during a heavy snowfall in Brussels, Belgium. (Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)
MINSK, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Belarus considered participation in the Central European Initiative (CEI) to be an additional opportunity to improve mutual understanding with the European Union, Belarusian Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov said on Tuesday.
"The outcomes of 2017 allow us in Belarus to consider the CEI format a significant tool to involve the country more fully and efficiently in global European development," Kobyakov said at a meeting of the CEI countries' prime ministers in Minsk on Tuesday.
Kobyakov said participation in the CEI is an additional opportunity for Belarus to improve mutual understanding with the EU through specific programs and projects, including in the field of regional development, which the CEI implements together with the EU.
During the chairmanship in the CEI in 2017, Belarus emphasized the fact that the organization unites the countries that are part of various integration formations and formats, Kobyakov added.
The CEI leadership highly appreciated the chairmanship of Belarus in the organization this year, CEI Alternate Secretary General Margot Klestil-Loffler said.
The official outlined the challenges the CEI countries is facing, including climate change, cyberterrorism, and illegal migration.
In 2018, the CEI chairmanship will move from Belarus to Croatia.
The CEI was found in 1989 as an organization designed to promote the development of sustainable links between the states of Central, Western and Eastern Europe in the field of politics, economy and culture, as well as to prevent the formation of new dividing lines in the European Region. Until now, the CEI includes 18 countries.