EU 'Ready to Welcome' Belarus President to Eastern Partnership Meeting
The European Union is reportedly ready to welcome President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus to its Eastern Partnership (EaP) meeting next month.
It is the first time EU officials have permitted Lukashenka to attend the meeting. The EaP summit will open in Brussels on November 24.
EU sources say Belarus was invited to take part in the summit "without restrictions" -- just like the five other EaP members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The sources spoke with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). Both RFE/RL and Voice of America are part of the United States-financed Broadcasting Board of Governors.
There were four earlier EaP summits. Before each of them, the EU said the president of Belarus was not welcome to attend. Alexander Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 21 years. He has been called the "last dictator of Europe."
Lukashenko has been president since 1994. He won a fifth term in a 2015 election that Western observers say was neither free nor fair.
The Belarus government was represented by its foreign minister at the last Eastern Partnership summit, which was held in Riga in 2015.
The EU launched the partnership in 2009 to support economic integration and European values in six Eastern European and South Caucasus countries.
The EU announced restrictive measures against Belarus in 2004 after two opposition politicians disappeared. In 2010, the European Council took steps to punish Belarus after unrest following their earlier presidential election.
But in February 2016, the EU lifted most of the restrictions against the country. The organization said it had cancelled the sanctions "in response to the release of all Belarusian political prisoners on August 22, 2016 and in the context of improving EU-Belarus relations."
I'm Dorothy Gundy.
1.foreign minister 外交部长
I visited Japan in 1987 at the invitation of the Foreign Minister.
2.in response to 为了回应...
The meeting was called in response to a request from Venezuela.
3.presidential election 总统选举
A presidential election was scheduled for last December.
4.political prisoner 政治犯
The political prisoner was executed after a secret trial.
5.EU sources say Belarus was invited to take part in the summit "without restrictions" -- just like the five other EaP members: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
take part in 参加
You can take part in activities from canoeing to bird watching.
They returned to take part in the season's opening game.
6.In 2010, the European Council took steps to punish Belarus after unrest following their earlier presidential election.
took steps to 采取措施
In the United States, the central bank took steps to speed recovery.
I took steps to assure myself of his guilt.
这是欧盟官员首次允许卢卡申科出席会议 。EAP峰会将于11月24日在布鲁塞尔举行 。
消息人士称接受了自由欧洲电台（RFE）及自由电台（RL）的采访 。这两个电台和美国之音都是美国资助的广播理事会的一部分 。
EAP峰会已经举办了四次 。每次举办峰会前，欧盟都表示不欢迎白俄罗斯总统参加 。亚历山大·卢卡申科统治白俄罗斯长达21年 。他一直被称为“欧洲最后一位独裁者” 。
1994年，卢卡申科开始担任总统 。在2015年的选举中，他赢得了第五个任期，西方观察家指责这既不自由也不公平 。
2004年，在两名反对派政客失踪后，欧盟宣布对白俄罗斯实施限制措施 。2010年，因白俄罗斯总统大选结束引发骚乱，欧洲理事会对其采取惩罚措施 。
2016年2月，欧盟解除了对白俄罗斯的大部分限制 。该组织称，此举是为了“回应2016年8月22日白俄罗斯释放所有政治犯以及改善欧盟和白俄罗斯的关系 。”