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Positive steps in Belarus-CoE cooperation welcomed

Politics 23.11.2017 | 11:55

MINSK, 23 November (BelTA) – Rapporteur on Belarus of the PACE Political Affairs and Democracy Committee Andrea Rigoni welcomed the positive steps in the development of cooperation between Belarus and the Council of Europe during a meeting with Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Boleslav Pirshtuk, BelTA has learned.

“A positive step in our cooperation is the trend of issuing regular invitations to Belarusian MPs to attend PACE events over the next two years. I believe that this is a positive thing because before this Belarus' representatives were invited to discuss Belarus-related issues only. After the January session, the delegation you are going to send to Strasbourg will be able to join the discussion of all the issues of the political commission. The decision marks a new level in our relations,” Andrea Rigoni said.

In his words, the Parliamentary Assembly is committed to upholding human rights. “In the June report we listed all the positions we marked in respect to Belarus. We acknowledged all the country's positive steps and emphasized the things that need to be done. Our final goal is to see Belarus in the Council of Europe,” said Andrea Rigoni.

He also noted that during the current visit he plans to take part in a meeting of the working group on death penalty of the National Assembly.

In 2015-2017 the dialogue between 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 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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