OSCE Chairmanship offers to visit Belarus

VIENNA / TIRANA, 17 August 2020 – The OSCE Chairmanship continues to follow the situation in Belarus very closely, it said in a statement today.

“We reiterate our concerns about the conduct of the Presidential election on 9 August 2020, which could not be observed by the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protesters, widespread detentions and alleged torture and mistreatment by the security forces.

An open and constructive dialogue is needed to find a way forward in Belarus.

The OSCE stands ready to support this and to engage with all stakeholders.

A formal offer has therefore been submitted to the government of Belarus for a visit by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, Edi Rama (photo above), and the incoming OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Ann Linde – to meet with the government and representatives of the opposition.

The OSCE Chairmanship reiterates the urgent need for full compliance with OSCE principles and commitments, including the promotion and protection of fundamental freedoms and human rights, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.”