What did Schwarzenberg and Makei talk about?
15:50, — Politics
The Czech and Belarusian MFAs give different information.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic released the following statement yesterday:
“On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Belarus, Minister Karel Schwarzenberg made a phone call to his Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makei on December 17th.
Minister Schwarzenberg repeated that Czech Republic is interested in cooperation with Belarus within the Eastern Partnership as both Ministers endorsed the benefits brought by the programme.
The unsatisfactory human rights situation in Belarus, including the issue of political prisoners, was also discussed.
In spite of different views, both sides confirmed their interest in strengthening Czech – Belarusian relations and the relations between the EU and Belarus. Ministers also found agreement on the mutual interest to strengthen the dialogue.”
The Belarusian MFA only informs that “A telephone conversation between Belarusian Foreign Minister Uladzimir Makei and First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Karel Schwarzenberg was held on the initiative of the Czech side on December 17. Ahead of the anniversary of establishing the diplomatic relations between the countries that is marked on January 5, 2013, the parties discussed the achieved results and prospects for further development of the Belarusian-Czech cooperation. An issue of Belarus-EU relations and ways to normalise them was touched.”
The Belarusian MFA preferred not to mention that “the unsatisfactory human rights situation in Belarus, including the issue of political prisoners” was discussed in the conversation with Makei.
Lukashenka's propaganda presented the conversation as country's success in foreign policy. It's also unclear what “strengthening” of the dialogue with the dictatorship the Czech MFA meant.
Belarus has 14 political prisoners. Belarusian foreign minister Uladzimir Makei is banned from entering the EU for repressions against the opposition.
- Andrei Sannikov in The Times: Free the prisoners of Europe’s last dictator
- Makei asks to ignore the political prisoners
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