Pompeo is the most senior visitor from the US to visit Minsk in twenty-five years. He was given a warm welcome by President Lukashenko before the two had a two hour meeting
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Minsk on Saturday morning (1 February) for a short official visit during which he has already had a two-hour meeting with Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko.
Lukashenko warmly welcomed Pompeo and said he appreciated that the Secretary of State had come to see for himself the situation in Belarus. Lukashenko jokingly told Pompeo that Belarus was a different kind of dictatorship - because here everyone rests on Saturday and Sunday whilst the president has to work.
The visit comes at a delicate time in relations between Belarus and its close ally Russia. A dispute over the supply of energy resources has left Belarus looking for its energy supplies on the international markets for the first time.
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During his visit to Minsk Pompeo emphasisied that the United States was not asking Belarus to choose between it and Russia. He said that the US wanted to declare its support for the independence and sovereignity of Belarus.
photo: President Lukashenko of Belarus welcomed to Minsk US Secretary of State Mike Pmpeo on Saturday 1 February 2020 (picture courtesy of Balta News Agency, Minsk).
Ambassador Giorgi Shervashidze of Georgia, Benyamin Poghosyan of Armenia and Ahmad Alili of Azerbaijan were guest panellists on a webinair organised as part of the Hague Conversations on Conflict series