Political prisoners issue raised at EU ambassadors’ farewell dinner
11:39, — Politics
Ambassadors of Germany, Great Britain and Hungary, whose terms in Belarus end now, held a farewell dinner yesterday in the educational center IBB in Minsk.
During his speech, Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Kontra welcomed the guests and remarked that he would like to welcome the mothers and wives of the Belarusian political prisoners.
British Ambassador Rosemary Thomas said that she will have warm memories from her time in our country. The diplomat emphasized that during this time she had got many friends and that she was sorry that not all of her friends could come to the dinner, specifically Dzmitry Dashkievich and Paval Siavierynets, who are in jail.
According to Rosemary Thomas, she is always surprised when someone questions whether the people of Belarus are Europeans. She is convinced that both the Belarusians and the Brits belong to one common European home, and that soon Belarus will become a part of Europe, just like other European countries.
German Ambassador Christof Weil stressed that it saddens him to leave Belarus. Belarusians have to demonstrate courage very often today, he said. But he is convinced that there will be positive changes in our country. Christof Weil also recalled the names of those who couldn’t come to the farewell dinner.
Russian envoy Alieksandr Surikov was standing on the stage beside the departing EU Ambassadors. Surikov is a doyen of the diplomatic missions to Belarus. It is sad when an ambassador leaves, he remarked, but in this case three colleagues whom he knew well and worked together a lot are leaving at the same time.
The Russian Ambassador presented his departing colleagues with paintings of Minsk.
Former Presidential candidate Uladzimir Niakliayeu spoke on behalf of the Belarusian part. The poet thanked all the diplomats and said that he was sorry to say farewell to his friends who have gone through a tough time together with the Belarusian people, but that he hoped that some time Rosemary Thomas, Christof Weil and Ferenc Kontra will come to a completely different Belarus.
In the nearest time new envoys will arrive to Belarus from Great Britain, Germany and Hungary.