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Belarusian, Ukrainian Presidents Discuss Ties In Abu Dhabi

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (left) meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Abu Dhabi on November 2.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for talks in the United Arab Emirates.

The Belarusian state news agency, BelTA, says the two leaders discussed bilateral economic and political ties at their November 2 meeting in Abu Dhabi.

It said the talks focused on issues related to bilateral trade, border demarcation, and cooperation in the social sector.

In the area of political cooperation, Lukashenka told Poroshenko that Minsk would stick to "the course the two brotherly nations agreed upon earlier."

Lukashenka's remarks on political cooperation echoed earlier assurances he gave to Poroshenko in July in Kyiv, where he promised to help resolve the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine between Russia-backed separatists and the Ukrainian government's armed forces.

Belarus hosted talks in Minsk in 2015 that were brokered by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany and led to an accord calling for a cease-fire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the front lines, and constitutional reforms that would give eastern Ukraine more autonomy.

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 10,000 people since it began in 2014, shortly after Moscow illegally annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and began offering military support to pro-Russia separatists in the east.

Despite a large amount of evidence of Russian military assistance, Moscow continues to deny supporting the separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Based on reporting by BelTA and