Rinkēvičs discusses Belarus with Belarusian opposition representatives

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On September 24, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs met with representatives of the Belarusian opposition, according to a release from Foreign Ministry.

Rinkēvičs met Valery Tsepkalo, who was denied registration as a presidential candidate, and Veronica Tsepkalo, his spouse and ally in the joint headquarters of the opposition candidates.

According to Foreign Ministry, Rinkēvičs confirmed Latvia’s position that, in the democratic world, nobody has any doubt that the presidential elections in Belarus were neither free nor fair, and the inauguration ceremony on 23 September does not legitimize Alexander Lukashenko to assume the presidential post for the sixth term.

He said Latvia is interested in bringing the situation in Belarus back to normal in a democratic manner. Edgars Rinkēvičs also expressed satisfaction that the representatives of the opposition have had a chance to visit Latvia. Such opportunities should be used to explain developments in Belarus beyond its borders, he said.

Valery Tsepkalo thanked Latvia for the position it maintains and said that support from the closest neighbors is very important and highly valued. According to the Ministry's release, he provided an insight into his current civic and political activities, and gave his perspective of the resolution to the situation. The parties were in agreement that support from the international community is vital for the Belarusian people.

The Foreign Minister, and Mr and Mrs Tsepkalo expressed hope that it would be possible to organize new presidential elections in Belarus in the presence of international observers.

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