Tsikhanouskaya says foreign powers could mediate in Belarus's unrest
WARSAW (Reuters) - Belarus's opposition could ask foreign countries to play a mediation role if Belarus is not able to resolve its own internal conflict, exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said during a visit to Poland on Wednesday. Belarus has been rocked by mass protests since veteran president Alexander Lukashenko won an election on Aug.
WARSAW (Reuters) - Belarus's opposition could ask foreign countries to play a mediation role if Belarus is not able to resolve its own internal conflict, exiled opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya said during a visit to Poland on Wednesday.
Belarus has been rocked by mass protests since veteran president Alexander Lukashenko won an election on Aug. 9 that his opponents say was rigged.
Both the opposition and the European Union have said the crisis is an internal matter that Belarusians should be allowed to deal with themselves.
"In a situation where we were not able to resolve this problem alone, maybe in the future we would ask other countries to act as mediators in future negotiations," Tsikhanouskaya told an economic forum in the town of Karpacz.
Tsikhanouskaya, who earlier met Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw, added that the opposition might specifically ask the EU for help if Belarus's leaders crossed the line in their use of force.
U.N. human rights experts say they have received reports of hundreds of cases of torture, beatings and mistreatment of protesters by police, but Tsikhanouskaya said the protests must remain peaceful.
"I think it is impossible to fight violence and give violence," she said in a speech at Warsaw University.
Poland, along with Lithuania and Latvia, wants the EU to follow its lead in offering extensive financial and social support to the Belarusian opposition movement, and Morawiecki said it would soon publish an economic plan for Belarus.
Polish officials said they feared Russia could become more assertive in the region if it felt the need to get more involved in putting down unrest in Belarus, a political ally that it regards as a buffer against NATO and the EU.
Tsikhanouskaya said Belarus could not turn away from Russia and must maintain good relations.
(Reporting by Alicja Ptak, Joanna Plucinska and Pawel Florkiewicz; Writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Kevin Liffey)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.