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US, Belarus to reinstate ambassadors after 10-year break

US, Belarus to reinstate ambassadors after 10-year break

The US and Belarus decided to reinstate the ambassador exchange after a 10-year-long pause, Emerging Europe reports on Wednesday. The respective declaration was made on September 17 in Minsk during the visit of the top US official David Hale to the Belarus capital.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenka assured the US Under Secretary of State David Hale that Minsk “will do everything to develop our relations”. No need to underestimate that Mr Hale’s visit is the highest-level US government visit to Belarus in 20 years.

Restoring full reciprocal diplomatic missions 10 years after ambassadors in Minsk and Washington were recalled over the deterioration of human rights in Belarus became one of the most anticipated moves for both countries.

“Today is a historic moment in American-Belarusian relations. I am glad to participate in the declaration of our readiness to exchange ambassadors as the next step in normalising our relations,” Mr Hale told President Lukashenka.

The top US official added that Washington remains committed to supporting the sovereignty and independence of Belarus for generations to come. Explaining the White House’s decision to reinstate ambassadors exchange, Mr Hale stressed it was made not for the sake of competing with Russia but in order to fully realise bilateral relations with Belarus.

In his turn, President Lukashenka noted that cutting diplomatic ties was not normal for countries that were once allies during World War II.

Mr Hale’s visit comes after the recent meeting of the Belarusian leader and John Bolton, former White House national security advisor.