Germany is interested in a strong, independent, stable and prosperous Belarus, German Ambassador Manfred Huterer said in an interview with BelaPAN.
“In recent years relations between Germany and Belarus have been developing very positively at all levels - at the political, economic and cultural ones,” said Mr. Huterer, who entered upon his duties as ambassador this past July. “I see my task as ambassador as keeping and deepening this momentum.”
Berlin and Minsk can secure closer relations and greater trust only “with the help of cooperation and contacts between people,” said the diplomat.
“It seems to me that Belarusians know much more about Germany than Germans about Belarus,” he said. “In Germany there is still too little knowledge about Belarus’ development, about the existing potential for cooperation. And I as ambassador want to make my contribution to ensuring that many German delegations come here, that they see your country’s development with their own eyes. It seems to me that we need to have curiosity of sorts about each other.”
Mr. Huterer said that he always admired the Belarusian people’s “special openness and true cordiality.” “It is surprising that it is Germans who are treated by Belarusians so impartially despite the horrible crimes that Germans committed in Belarus in the 20th century and the suffering that they caused,” he said. “Thanks to my work I lived and worked in very different countries but nowhere were people as much open and cordial as in Belarus. I think this is an incentive for us to get to know your country better, understand its identity, engage in the development of our relations.”
The ambassador said that he had already purchased a five-volume book titled The History of Belarusian Statehood. “Reading all of it is a fairly ambitious task but I intend to read this and other books on the subject of history if I have time,” he said.
Mr. Huterer welcomed the establishment of a German-Belarusian history commission that will hold its first meeting in Berlin in late January 2020. “The creation of the commission is the result of implementing the idea that German President Steinmeier voiced at a meeting with President Lukašenka during his visit to Minsk in 2018,” he said.