ITAR-TASS News Agency
September 30, 2005 Friday 2:40 PM Eastern Time

Belarus culture festival opens in Armenia

By Tigran Liloyan


The Belarussian cultural festival in Armenia opened with a large
concern of Belarussian masters of the arts in Yerevan Opera House on
Friday. This is the first such festival from the time the two
countries became independent.

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan addressed a message of greetings
to the participants in the festival, describing it as "a remarkable
event in the cultural life of the two countries." "Belarussian
culture evokes response in Armenian people," the message of greetings
says. The president is also confident that "Armenian art is known and
liked in Belarus."

Pointing out that "Armenian-Belarussian ties have a long history,"
the Armenian president expressed the confidence that "friendship and
spiritual closeness of our peoples accumulated over many years have
good prospects."

"This remarkable fete presents vast achievements of masters of
Belarussian culture and offers Armenian people an excellent
opportunity to familiarize themselves with the richness of
Belarussian culture," says the message of Belarussian President
Alexander Lukashenko that was read out by the republic's Culture
Minister Leonid Gulyako.

"The peoples of Belarus and Armenia are linked by lasting sincere
friendship and fruitful cooperation," Lukashenko noted. He is
convinced that "no distances and borders can affect the strength of
spiritual unity of the fraternal countries." The Belarussian
president is sure that "the present cultural forum will promote the
growing closeness of the peoples" of Armenia and Belarus.

The Armenian president received Belarussian culture minister. They
came out for the stepping up of bilateral ties in the area of