Updated at 20:11,29-10-2020

France's Macron To Meet Belarus Opposition Leader Tsikhanouskaya In Lithuania

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France's Macron To Meet Belarus Opposition Leader Tsikhanouskaya In Lithuania
PHOTO GALLERY: Tens Of Thousands March On 50th Day Of Protests In Belarus
French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Belarusian opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya during a visit to Lithuania on September 29.

Tsikhanouskaya claims she won the August 9 presidential election in Belarus, defeating long-ruling strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka.

She fled to Lithuania amid a crackdown on protesters by Lukashenka, who has refused to admit defeat.

Lukashenka had himself secretly sworn in on September 23, sparking outrage at home and abroad.

Western countries have refused to recognize Lukashenka as the legitimate leader of Belarus and have called on him to peacefully transfer power.

Protesters have taken to the streets of Belarus for 51 consecutive days to demand Lukashenka step down.

Opposition leaders, including Tsikhanouskaya, have formed a Coordination Council to facilitate the transfer of power.

Tsikahnouskaya ran for president in place of her husband, who had been arrested prior to the election.

She said she would hold a new presidential election upon taking power.