EU decides to withdraw all envoys to Belarus (Lead, Changing Dateline)

February 29th, 2012 - 9:28 am ICT by IANS  

Brussels, Feb 29 (IANS) The European Union decided to withdraw all of its envoys to Belarus after the latter asked the head of the EU delegation to Belarus and the Polish ambassador to leave the country.

Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief of the European Union (EU), said Tuesday member states have decided to recall their ambassadors to Minsk, Xinhua reported.

“Following today’s request by the Belarusian authorities that the Head of the EU Delegation in Minsk and the Ambassador of Poland to Belarus leave the country, I have decided, in coordination with (Polish) Foreign Minister Sikorski, that we will recall for consultations our two ambassadors,” Ashton said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Ashton called a meeting of member states’ ambassadors in Brussels Tuesday to coordinate the bloc’s response.

“In an expression of solidarity and unity, it was agreed that the ambassadors of the EU Member States in Minsk will all be withdrawn for consultations to their capitals. All EU Member States will also summon Belarusian ambassadors to their foreign ministries,” she said.

Minsk told ambassadors of EU and Poland Tuesday to leave Belarus in response to newly approved EU sanctions against the country.

The sanctions, adopted by EU’s foreign affairs council Monday, include travel restrictions on 21 judges and senior police officers who should be “responsible for serious violations of human rights or the repression of civil society and democratic opposition.”

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |