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Opinions & Interviews

9 Mar 2016

Lambrinidis: EU expects to boost cooperation with Belarus in all areas

Lambrinidis: EU expects to boost cooperation with Belarus in all areas

MINSK, 9 March (BelTA) - After the lifting of the sanctions against Belarus the EU expects to boost cooperation with Belarus in all areas, EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis said during a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.

Stavros Lambrinidis stressed that the European Union sees the recent lifting of the sanctions against Belarus “as an opportunity to multiply, to considerably step up the interaction in all areas without exception, both in political and economic areas, and in the sphere of human rights.”

In Belarus the EU Special Representative for Human Rights is scheduled to meet with many representatives of the authorities, exchange views on human rights issues. According to Stavros Lambrinidis, he is set to discuss how the parties could improve the development of this sphere in Belarus.

Stavros Lambrinidis assured the President of Belarus that the EU, just as Belarus, does not view human rights in isolation from economic issues. “We believe that the progress in this area will directly depend on, for example, foreign investments and trade and economic cooperation,” he said. He thanked Alexander Lukashenko for today's meeting and for the opportunity to visit the country.

EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis will be in Belarus on a working visit till 11 March. He is expected to attend the international conference Death Penalty: Bridging the Gap, organized by the UNDP in cooperation with the Minsitry of Foreign Affairs. The EU Special Representative for Human Rights is also set to have meetings in Parliament and in ministries of Belarus.

The post of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights was established in 2012 to enhance the effectiveness and visibility of EU human rights policy. Former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece Stavros Lambrinidis was appointed as EU Special Representative for Human Rights in 2012.

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