Rohrabacher Calls for Restored Diplomatic Ties with Belarus

Aug 26, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, co-chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging threats, in a letter Wednesday urged Secretary of State John Kerry to restore diplomatic relations with the Republic of Belarus and exchange ambassadors again.

The U.S. government recalled its ambassador to Minsk in 2008 after long-simmering differences on human rights, election abuses, and corruption in the former Soviet republic.

In a separate letter to the independent country’s President Alexander Lukashenko, the California Republican congratulated the controversial leader for pardoning several of his political opponents, calling the move “a major step in the right direction.”

Rohrabacher and Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-NY, ranking member of the subcommittee, earlier this month visited Lukashenko in Minsk. Both lawmakers signed the two letters.

“The government in Minsk,” said the letter to Kerry, “has in the last two years tried to play a major role in finding a compromise that will end the conflict in Ukraine. We should applaud such efforts and recognize President Lukashenko’s eagerness to work with us to confront some very serious challenges.

“Working together with regional players such as Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, we could deflate tensions in what has become a very volatile region.”

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