Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner on the elections in Belarus

"In the past months we have seen and welcomed a number of positive developments in Belarus, including the release of all remaining political prisoners and the issuing of an invitation to the OSCE/ODIHR to observe parliamentary elections on 28th September.

I have taken note of the preliminary findings of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission (EOM) which includes both some positive indications but also a number of negative elements.

It is essential that the EOM is allowed full access to the remaining stages of the elections and we will study carefully the EOM's final report.

I urge the Government of Belarus to enter into a dialogue with the OSCE/ODIHR as to how to implement its recommendations.

It is important now for the EU to reflect on how best we can engage with Belarus, its government and people. This engagement should include ways of strengthening respect for democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights in accordance with Belarus' international commitments."

Contacts :

Christiane Hohmann +32 498/991 196 - +32 2 299 11 96 -

Concepcion Fernandez De La Puente +32 498/952 977 - +32 2 295 29 77 -

Anja Fiedler - +32 2 298 03 85 -

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