Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-12-16-Speech-3-198"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, about two weeks ago, the Italian Prime Minister became the first Western Head of Government for many years to visit Belarus. He praised the work and policies of President Lukashenko and acknowledged the high election turn-out as being an expression of the high level of admiration and love of the people for their president. Unfortunately, he forgot to visit the opposition, which would otherwise be customary. The response was not to acknowledge the fact that steps had been taken towards liberalisation in Belarus; instead, the line taken towards the opposition became less tolerant. It resulted in repression and there was jostling, brawling and the like. This is also why we have tabled this resolution today, in order to make it clear which powers and which civil society approaches we support and to clarify the fact that we will only be able to talk about a partnership – something that is, of course, as yet on ice – once we are also able to fully continue the human rights dialogue with Belarus. This means freedom of speech, freedom of expression, the freedom of the opposition to work, the allowance of opposition parties and so on. We believe that this is important and that it must define our partnership in the future. We hope that the European Union will find a common line here and that the future High Representative will also put a lot of effort into promoting it."@en1

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