MINSK, December 31. /TASS/. Belarus is participating in talks with NATO on holding joint peacekeeping exercises, the Belarussian Defense Ministry told TASS on Tuesday.
"As far as joint exercises with NATO are concerned, the issue on the agenda is negotiations, and not preparations," the Defense Ministry said.
"As preparations are underway for delegating a peace-keeping unit to the Italian contingent of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, the possibility is being considered of joint drills with representatives of the Italian Republic’s armed forces. In particular, the issue on the agenda is to achieve better cooperation by units commissioned to maintain international peace and security," the Belarussian Defense Ministry said.
Belarus joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program in January 1995. Belarus has had a permanent mission at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels since 1998. Two Defense Ministry officials are on its staff.