Belarus crisis, Special Council convenes in Vienna

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 28, 2020 12:34

Belarus crisis, Special Council convenes in Vienna

TIRANA, Aug. 28 - OSCE Chair-in-person Edi Rama has called on Belarus President Lukashenko to agree to starting negotiations to resolve the political crisis that has gripped the country since the August 9 elections.

During the Special Council focused on the Belarus crisis, convened in Vienna, Rama said that the OSCE will do everything possible to help in thw situation. Furthermore, Rama stressed that no one should take sides nor interfere in Belarus' internal affairs.

"I want to make three things clear, first; no matter how strong the opinions we have, it is not up to us to interfere in Belarusian internal affairs. Second, no matter how strong the feelings, it is not up to us to take sides. Thirdly, we are not seeking, nor should we seek, the role of mediator between the two sides, simply to help Belarus as one of us," Rama said.

Three days before the visit, the OSCE Chairmanship stated that the offer for a meeting in Belarus remains on the table.

Rama and Swedish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde sent a letter to President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus on August 22, wherein they reaffirmed OSCE's support to Belarus.

"We would like to reiterate our offer of visit to Belarus, in order to listen to views regarding the situation and have a discussion on the current challenges in the country," the two wrote.

As protestors took the streets of the capital city on Monday, disputing the victory of the latest elections, Lukashenko appeared to be brandishing an assault rifle in Minsk. Last week also saw violent clashes with opposition protesters and numerous allegations of police brutality, which have raised international concern.

In a press conference on Monday, German Government spokesman Steffen Seibert reiterated the need for OSCE to mediate the crisis.

"The weekend footage shows that citizens in Belarus have shown great courage and protested freely in large numbers on the streets. They should be given the opportunity for a better future for their country, " he said.

Belarus has yet to respond to OSCE's meeting offer, although the European Council, the EU and the US have expressed readiness to provide assistance in conducting the meeting.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 28, 2020 12:34