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29 Jun 2018

German president arrives in Belarus on visit

MINSK, 29 June (BelTA) – German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has arrived in Belarus on a visit. The aircraft with the German head of state on board landed in the National Airport Minsk, BelTA has learned.

Belarusian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei welcomed the German president and his spouse in the airport.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to participate in a requiem rally to commemorate Nazism victims at the site of the former death camp Trostenets on 29 June. Taking part in the event will be Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and Austrian ex-president Heinz Fischer who arrived in Minsk on 28 June. Many other foreign guests will take part in the event, including representatives of government agencies and public associations from Austria, Germany, Israel, Poland and Czechia.

The Belarusian head of state is expected to have a meeting with the German president. Apart from that, Frank-Walter Steinmeier will participate in the international conference Memory for Common European Future at the Minsk Johannes Rau International Education Center.

Trostenets is one of the largest death camps set up by the Nazi to eliminate civilians in 1941-1944. It is the fourth largest death camp after Auschwitz, Majdanek, and Treblinka in terms of the number of victims. Residents of Belarus, other USSR republics, deported citizens of Western European countries, including Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia, perished in this death camp. The official death toll exceeds over 200,000 people from various countries.

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