Polish FM to meet Belarusian leader next week

Poland's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski is to meet with Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko in Minsk next week, it has been reported.

The meeting is billed to take place on Tuesday, 2 November. Sikorski will be joined in Minsk by his German opposite number Guido Westerwelle, where they are to meet with President Lukashenko as well as opposition candidates for Belarus' head of state ahead of elections there on 19 December.

Minister Sikorski is also expected to meet with his opposite number, Sergei Martynov, as well as President Lukashenko's chief of administration. Tuesday's meeting will be the second-ever between Sikorski and Lukashenko. They last met in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital last year.

Relations between Poland and Belarus have been difficult since President Lukashenko created a pro-government Polish minority organisation to rival the pro-Warsaw Union of Poles. Members of the latter organisation complain of harassment by Belarusian authorities.

Radoslaw Sikorski is also set to meet with representatives of the Union of Poles, led by Angelika Orechwo, the acting head of the organisation not recognised by Lukashenko's regime.

The EU has had limited diplomatic sanctions against Minsk in place for two years over its human rights record.


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