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Belarus Says Ready for 'Constructive' Dialogue on Election

Belarus Says Ready for 'Constructive' Dialogue on Election

Friday, 14 August, 2020 - 08:30
Women take part in a demonstration against police violence during the recent rallies of opposition supporters following the presidential election in Minsk, Belarus August 12, 2020. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Belarus is prepared for "constructive and objective" talks with foreign countries on its disputed presidential election and post-vote unrest, Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said on Friday.

In a call with Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis, Makei expressed "the readiness of the Belarusian side for a constructive and objective dialogue with foreign partners on all issues related to the developments in Belarus," his office said in a statement.

Belarusian authorities released detained demonstrators on Friday after issuing a rare public apology in an effort to quell nationwide street protests that pose the biggest challenge yet to strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko's 26-year rule.

Their release comes ahead of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers later on Friday which is due to discuss possible new sanctions on the Belarusian leadership after its harsh crackdown on post-election protests.

At least two protesters have died and around 6,700 were detained this week in the crackdown, which followed a landslide Lukashenko re-election win which protesters said was false because the ballot had been massively rigged.

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