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Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle: urging respect for civil liberties in Belarus

14.08.2012 - Press release

To mark the EU-wide protest against the refusal by Belarus to extend the accreditation of the Swedish Ambassador in Minsk, as well as the decision to close the Swedish Embassy, the Belarusian Ambassador in Berlin, Andrey Giro, was summoned to the Federal Foreign Office today.

During the visit, it was made unequivocally clear to the Belarusian Ambassador that expelling the Swedish Ambassador because of his contacts with the Belarusian opposition and the subsequent closure of the Swedish Embassy were not acceptable.

The EU partners decided in Brussels on Friday, 10 August, to summon the accredited Belarusian Ambassadors in all EU member states. The Ambassador in Berlin was summoned to the Federal Foreign Office by Antje Leendertse, the Director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle commented as follows on the situation in Belarusand on the latest events:

“Europe will not accept any ban on contacts issued by the Lukashenko Government. We will continue to strongly urge the Belarusian Government to respect civil rights and to initiate the overdue reform and transformation process in Belarus.”

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