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Germany: Merkel urges 'national dialogue' in Belarus ahead of emergency European Council meeting00:40

Germany: Merkel urges 'national dialogue' in Belarus ahead of emergency European Council meeting

Germany, Dusseldorf
August 18, 2020 at 15:50 GMT +00:00 · Published

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a "national dialogue" to bring about a peaceful resolution to the ongoing mass protests in Belarus, while speaking at a press conference alongside North Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President Armin Laschet in Dusseldorf.

Merkel explained that she had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin via telephone about the situation and "made it clear once again that freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate must be guaranteed, that prisoners must be released," stressing as well "that there must be a national dialogue to settle things peacefully in Belarus."

The EU is set to hold an emergency video meeting of the European Council on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Belarus, with sanctions reportedly on the table for discussion.

Belarus has been swept by anti-government protests following the disputed August 9 presidential election that saw President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term.

Germany: Merkel urges 'national dialogue' in Belarus ahead of emergency European Council meeting00:40
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a "national dialogue" to bring about a peaceful resolution to the ongoing mass protests in Belarus, while speaking at a press conference alongside North Rhine-Westphalia Minister-President Armin Laschet in Dusseldorf.

Merkel explained that she had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin via telephone about the situation and "made it clear once again that freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate must be guaranteed, that prisoners must be released," stressing as well "that there must be a national dialogue to settle things peacefully in Belarus."

The EU is set to hold an emergency video meeting of the European Council on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Belarus, with sanctions reportedly on the table for discussion.

Belarus has been swept by anti-government protests following the disputed August 9 presidential election that saw President Alexander Lukashenko re-elected for a sixth term.

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