Belarus Orders Closure of US Embassy’s Public Diplomacy, USAID Offices in Minsk, US Says
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The government of Belarus has requested Washington to close the US embassy’s Public Diplomacy and USAID offices, including the American Centre in Minsk, US Special Envoy on Belarus Julie Fisher said on Friday.
"On October 20, 2021, the Belarusian authorities informed the United States of new measures designed to impede the functioning of the U.S. Embassy in Minsk by forcing the closure of the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy and USAID offices, including the American Center in Minsk. The Belarusian authorities are forcing the Embassy to terminate the employment of more than 20 Belarusian members of our staff," Fisher said.
According to Fisher, these actions reflect the deep insecurities of authorities of Belarus about "the role of diplomacy, people-to-people ties and independent civil society."
"The United States will not be deterred from its commitment to helping advance democracy and human rights in Belarus and to supporting the aspirations of the Belarusian people to build a more promising future in a free and independent Belarus, nor will these recent measures cause us to abandon the outreach and engagement that have benefitted the Belarusian people and which have advanced the relations between our citizens," she added.