Aleksander Lukashenko

Italy to urge Belarus' President Lukashenko to respect human rights

Italy to urge Belarus' President Lukashenko to respect human rights Rome - Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko would be told during his meeting with Italian leaders Monday to respect human rights, Italy's foreign minister has said ahead of the meeting. Lukashenko's visit to Rome which includes a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI, is seen as a diplomatic breakthrough for the former Soviet republic which for years has been isolated because of government persecution of political opposition and independent media.

EU invites Lukashenko to Eastern Partnership summit

Prague/Minsk  - The European Union invited on Friday Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko to a Prague summit at which EU leaders plan to launch their so-called Eastern Partnership initiative, aimed at tying six ex-Soviet countries closer to the 27-member bloc, officials said.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country chairs the EU until June 30, delivered the invitation for Belarus while meeting the president, said Schwarzenberg's spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova.

"The invitation is for Belarus and the president is its addressee as the head of state. But we do not have a confirmation that he will arrive," Opletalova told the German Press Agency dpa.

Belarus calls on Europe to revoke travel ban, build gas pipelines

Belarus calls on Europe to revoke travel ban, build gas pipelines Minsk - Belarusian officials on Tuesday called on Brussels to revoke a travel ban imposed on President Aleksander Lukashenko, and to reconsider a stalled plan to build gas pipelines connecting Russian producers with the West.

"The time has come to remove these barriers, which prevent the development of normal relations between Belarus and the European Union, said Andrei Popov, spokesman for Belarus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Libya's Gaddafi in Belarus, Lukashenko calls for "multipolar" world

Belarusian President Aleksander LukashenkoMinsk - Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko called for a "multipolar world" not dominated by any superpower, upon Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi's arrival in the former Soviet republic.

Gaddafi was in the Belarusian capital Minsk on the first of a two-day official visit.

Lukashenko, isolated internationally because of his authoritarian regime, in a welcome statement to Gaddafi argued smaller countries must band together, to block hegemony by a major country.

Lukashenko promises "no crackdown" on opposition after bombing

Minsk - Belarusian President Aleksander Lukashenko Saturday promised he would not use a recent bomb blast as a pretext to crack down on government opponents, the Interfax news agency reported.