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During his August 27-28 visit to Vienna, Austria, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen E. Biegun represented the United States at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Special Permanent Council to discuss the situation in Belarus.

At the OSCE, the Deputy Secretary delivered remarks calling for an immediate end to the violence against the Belarusian people and the release of all those unjustly detained, including American citizen Vitali Shkliarov. He emphasized that the people of Belarus must be provided the self-determination to choose their own leaders through a truly free and fair election under independent observation.

Deputy Secretary Biegun and Ambassador James Gilmore, the United States Representative to the OSCE, met separately with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, the OSCE Chair-in-Office, to express support for the OSCE’s offer to facilitate a national dialogue between the government of Belarus and representatives of civil society and the opposition. Deputy Secretary Biegun also met with other foreign counterparts attending the special session.


U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future