Czech Foreign Minister brings up point of prisoners of state

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Belarus, Minister Karel Schwarzenberg made a phone call to his Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Makey on December 17.
Ministers agreed on the importance of mutual communication and expressed the interest in its widening, not only at the bilateral level, but also within the EU. Minister Schwarzenberg repeated that Czech Republic is interested in cooperation with Belarus within the Eastern Partnership as both Ministers endorsed the benefits brought by the programme.
The unsatisfactory human rights situation in Belarus, including the issue of political prisoners, was also discussed.
In spite of different views, both sides confirmed their interest in strengthening Czech – Belarusian relations and the relations between the EU and Belarus. Ministers also found agreement on the mutual interest to strengthen the dialogue.
According to political analysts, the sides are trying to solve the abnormal situation caused by the events of December 19, 2010. At the same time, keeping prisoners of conscience behind bars the Belarusian side shows no signs of its readiness to make concessions to Europe.
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