Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Belarus ready for dialogue with EU in all areas, parliamentary speaker says

By Syarhey Karalevich, BelaPAN

Belarus is ready to have a dialogue with the European Union in all areas, including human rights, Uladzimir Andreychanka, chairman of the House of Representatives, said in Minsk on Wednesday while meeting with Stavros Lambrinidis, the European Unions special representative for human rights.

Mr. Andreychanka noted, for example, that Belarus had devised an action plan based on recommendations that had been provided by the UN Human Rights Council within the framework of the UN Periodical Review. He said that the country would work to implement those recommendations.

According to Mr. Andreychanka, Belarusian authorities also actively cooperate with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights to improve the countrys electoral regulations and engage with Europe on the sensitive issue of the death penalty.

Mr. Andreychanka described Belarus as an integral part of Europe and a country interested in relations of equality and mutual respect.

Mr. Andreychanka noted that Belarus and the EU had resumed their human rights dialogue and were actively carrying out international technical assistance projects.

Mr. Andreychanka welcomed the abolition of the EUs restrictive measures against Belarus, predicting that it would give an impetus to the development of bilateral business and political relations. He said that the EUs move had been received well in Belarus and in EU countries and expressed confidence that the sides had a good opportunity to bring their cooperation to a more serious level.

Mr. Lambrinidis said that he had come to Belarus several weeks after the abolition of the EUs sanctions to support the positive momentum in bilateral relations. The improvement of Belarus human rights record will help the country improve its reputation in Europe, he said.