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Statement on recent developments in Belarus

Delivered by Minister Counsellor Henning Hj Johansen at the Permanent Council in Vienna, 15 October 2020.

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Mr. Chair,

 

The continued reports of violence against peaceful protesters in Belarus is deeply concerning. Over the last week arrests have continued, many of the apprehensions were carried out in a brutal manner by special forces. Such use of force is unacceptable.

We note President Lukashenko’s meeting with some representatives of the opposition last weekend. However, the fact that these representatives were, and still are, in detention can not be regarded as an invitation to dialogue. We urge Belarus to release the members of the opposition and to engage these as well as representatives of the opposition in exile in talks in good faith.

We encourage the authorities in Minsk to engage in a proper dialogue with the opposition in Belarus.  We would yet again remind the Belarus leadership about the offer from the present, and the incoming, Chairperson-in-office, to visit the country in order to discuss how to facilitate such a dialogue.

 

Thank you