Sikorski in Brussels for Belarus election talks

Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski is in Brussels for a meeting of EU heads of diplomacy, Monday, focusing on relations with Minsk and the forthcoming presidential elections in Belarus.

The topic had been suggested by Minister Sikorski, says a spokesman at the foreign ministry Marcin Bosacki.

"Minister Sikorski will urge EU partners to follow the election campaign in Belarus with close attention and to send as many observers for the vote as possible. Also, if the vote is democratic, he will appeal for closer cooperation with Belarus," said Bosacki.

Mr Sikorski and German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle met with Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk earlier this month when they handed him a European appeal to hold fair and democratic presidential elections. They also promised 3 billion euro in EU aid to Belarus over the next three years if the vote is transparent.

Alexander Lukashenko assured that the elections will be democratic but the chief of his administration said that Belarus does not need financial aid with political strings attached.

Belarusians will elect their president on 19 December. There are 10 official candidates, with incumbent Alexander Lukashenko, who is seeking re-election for the fourth term, leading the race in opinion polls.


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