World, Europe

OSCE to meet with government, opposition in Belarus

OSCE is not going to Minsk to take selfies at protests, says chairperson

Mustafa Talha Öztürk   | 21.08.2020
OSCE to meet with government, opposition in Belarus

BELGRADE, Serbia

Officials of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are heading to Belarus’ capital to meet with the government and opposition, its current chairperson, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, said Thursday.  

"The OSCE is not going to Minsk to take selfies at the protests but to meet with the government and the opposition. Of course, this requires approval from both sides," Rama said on Twitter, announcing his possible involvement in the talks.

Noting that the OSCE has not made any public statements about their frequent meetings with high-level representatives of the European Union recently, Rama said it is "because this is the nature of the work at this stage."

According to the OSCE, a formal offer was submitted earlier to the government of Belarus by Rama and the incoming OSCE Chairperson-In-Office Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Ann Linde to meet with government and opposition members.

Belarus has been locked in civil unrest since President Alexander Lukashenko was declared the victor in presidential elections on Aug. 9. 

Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for 26 years, officially won with 80.1% of the vote. 

His main rival, opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, garnered only 10.12%, according to the Central Election Commission.  

Lukashenko has refused to hold a new vote, saying: "You won't see me doing anything under pressure."

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