Council of Europe ready for fruitful dialogue with Minsk, secretary general of Venice Commission says
When asked about what specific signs the Council of Europe expected, he said that organizing conferences like this was among such signs as they offered...
The Council of Europe is ready for fruitful and constructive dialogue with Belarus, Gianni Buquicchio, secretary general of the Venice Commission, said in Minsk on Thursday,
Mr. Buquicchio arrived in Minsk to participate in a joint conference of the Venice Commission and the Constitutional Court of Belarus.
He expressed hope that the conference would help develop bilateral dialogue and noted that similar conferences had taken place in the past. «Now we are here again,» he said. «This proves our commitment to integrate Belarus as far as possible into the European family.»
«I also would like to see signs of good will from the Belarusian authorities, signs of good will for being integrated into Europe,» he said.
When asked about what specific signs the Council of Europe expected, Mr. Buquicchio said that organizing conferences like this was among such signs as they offered an opportunity to discuss «very important topics» such as the freedom of expression and the freedom of the media.
Speaking about political prisoners, Mr. Buquicchio said, «I know that great effort has been done by the Belarusian authorities in order to free political prisoners. I really hope that the remaining political prisoners will be freed also.»
When asked about the USA`s sanctions imposed on Belarusian petrochemical conglomerate Belnaftakhim over human rights abuses in Belarus, he said that he was not informed much about the «economic sanctions.» «It is probably a bilateral problem between the United States and Belarus. I hope it will be solved,» he said. «When I am speaking about our values such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law, this proves that the position of the Council of Europe is not to sell anything because we have nothing to sell. Our only wish is to integrate Belarus into common European society.»