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20 August 2017
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EU decides to withdraw all ambassadors to Belarus: Ashton

Catherine Ashton, the foreign policy chief of the European Union...

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

"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 on 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an expression of solidarity and unity, it was agreed that the ambassadors of the EU Member States in Minsk will all be withdrawn for consultations to their capitals.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 on Tuesday to leave the country in response to newly approved EU sanctions against the country.

The sanctions, adopted by EU Foreign Affairs Council on 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."

A spokesman of Belorussian Foreign Ministry stressed on Tuesday that the country`s moves were aimed at informing leadership of the EU and Poland Minsk`s firm position that pressure and sanctions "are unacceptable."

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