WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States and the European Union are lamenting the Belarus's decision to close the office of a major security organization that monitored its elections last month.
A statement from the offices of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton said they regretted the decision by Belarus on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. It also called on Belarus to release presidential candidates and others detained after the elections.
The OSCE's election observers accused President Alexander Lukashenko of using fraudulent counting in the Dec. 19 election to win almost 80 percent of the vote.
The OSCE also condemned the violent dispersal of a protest rally by riot police after polls closed.