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Belarus in favor of pragmatic cooperation with Council of Europe

Politics 23.11.2017 | 12:17

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) - Belarus is interested in developing pragmatic cooperation with Council of Europe, Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Boleslav Pirshtuk said at a meeting with Rapporteur on Belarus of the PACE Political Affairs and Democracy Committee Andrea Rigoni on 23 November, BelTA has learned.

“We are interested in developing pragmatic cooperation with the Council of Europe, first of all in what concerns the accession to conventions and agreements,” stressed Boleslav Pirshtuk. In his words, on 17 November Belarus ratified the additional protocol to the Anti-Doping Convention. “We undertake additional commitments and by doing so confirm our interest in clean sport,” the deputy chairman of the House of Representatives said.

Boleslav Pirshtuk also emphasized progress in the relations with PACE. “We are working on the implementation of the Council of Europe's Action Plan for Belarus for 2016-2017 and we hope that this plan will be extended to 2018. We are interested in the project,” he said.

The vice speaker stated that Belarus welcomes the PACE's decision to maintain high-level contacts with the Belarusian authorities. “I am sure this allows us to get a better feel of the situation and further align our positions,” Boleslav Pirshtuk stressed, adding that Belarus is interested in organizing a meeting between the Belarusian Parliament and PACE in 2018.

“We also very much appreciate the decision to invite our MPs to attend the Parliamentary Assembly sessions on different topics,” Boleslav Pirshtuk said.

In 2015-2017 the dialogue between the PACE and Belarusian Parliament was reactivated. Belarusian representatives took part in the hearings on the situation in Belarus of the PACE Commission on Political Affairs and Democracy and also attended the conferences on electoral issues, freedom of the media and on healthcare.

Andrea Rigoni visited Belarus on 23-24 March 2017 to gather information for a new resolution on Belarus. On 27 June 2017 the PACE adopted the report on the situation in Belarus. The document highlights “the need to continue and maintain high-level contacts with the Belarusian authorities”, to issue regular invitations for Belarusian MPs to attend meetings of the Commission on Political Affairs and Democracy.

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