The delegation, which was led by Mr. Soares and included members of the Assembly’s Working Group on Belarus, stayed in Minsk between March 9 and 12.
Mr. Soares said that the delegation had held meetings with government officials, opposition politicians and civil society representatives. “Relations with our colleagues from the Belarusian parliament are important and we have also progressed in the work of the Working Group on Belarus,” he said.
Mr. Soares noted that Wednesday’s OSCE-organized workshop on the improvement of Belarus’ investment environment would not yield “immediate results” but was very important in the context of the global economic crisis.
The president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly noted that “Belarus has a problem of image in the international community,” which he said should be addressed by the Belarusian authorities.
Mr. Soares said that the OSCE was “against” the European UNI0N’s sanctions imposed on Belarus, noting that “we think that they won’t lead to anything positive.” This stance is shared by both Belarusian government officials and certain opposition politicians, he added.
Mr. Soares stressed that OSCE missions in specific countries, including in Belarus, had a very effective performance.