Statement of the Foreign Affairs Committee on the situation in Belarus

(20.01.2011.)

Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima:

emphasises that the Republic of Latvia, as a member state of the European Union and NATO, defends democratic values and individual freedoms and condemns the violent way in which Belorussian law enforcement officers treated participants of demonstrations held during the presidential election;

agrees with the conclusions of the OSCE regarding the non-democratic nature of the presidential election and repressive measures of the Belorussian authorities against political opponents, as well as with the condemnation of such activities expressed by the international community.

Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima calls on:

the Belorussian authorities to immediately release political prisoners, journalists and peaceful participants of the demonstrations, to observe the right to freedom of assembly and speech in accordance with democratic values, and to review the decision on the annulment of the mandate of the OSCE mission; 

the international society to closely monitor the development of the situation and to support the attempts of the people of Belarus to express their free will by democratic means;

the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia:

-          to observe the position expressed in this Statement when drafting the position of the European Union, to support facilitation of a visa regime for citizens of Belarus, as well as to review the visa-issuing procedure for public officials of Belarus and implement other sanctions against the authorities;

-          to support civil initiatives which strengthen Belarus as a national and democratic state;

-          to facilitate development of neighbourly relations that comply with the national and economic interests of Latvia and to set the interests of inhabitants as priority;

-          to encourage cooperation among various public institutions and non-governmental organisations of both countries in order to share Latvia’s experience in shaping a democratic society.

 

Riga

19 January 2011

Sestdien, 21.maijā