Updated at 19:33,24-11-2017

Belarus, EU hold first round of human rights talks

By Iryna Lewshyna, BelaPAN

Belarus and the European Union held the first round of human rights talks in Brussels on July 28.

The talks focused on a wide range of issues, including the possible establishment of a national human rights institution in Belarus, freedoms of speech, expression and assembly, the use of capital punishment, fight against degrading treatment, as well as children's rights, said the Belarusian foreign ministry's press office.

Under discussion also was cooperation between Belarus and the EU within the United Nations.

"The results of the meeting demonstrated the commitment of Belarus and the EU to deepening their dialogue, including on the subject of human rights," said the press office. "The talks made it possible to conduct an honest and respectful initial exchange of opinion on the matters in substance for the purpose of the subsequent strengthening of mutual trust and development of cooperation."

The Belarusian delegation to the meeting was led by Yury Ambrazevich, head of the foreign ministry's Main Multilateral Diplomacy Directorate. The EU delegation was led by Silvio Gonzato, director of the Human Rights and Democracy Division of the European External Action Service.