The United States and Belarus recently convened the second Working Group for Democracy and Human Rights.
The two sides discussed their shared OSCE commitments to uphold freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association; the importance of facilitating space for the development of civil society and independent media; and best practices in the area of rule of law.
The United States welcomed Belarus' release of six political prisoners in August and urged Belarus to take additional positive steps in the areas of democracy and human rights. In particular, the United States called on Belarus to take steps to conduct its upcoming parliamentary elections in line with the standards of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
The United States noted that enhanced respect for democracy and human rights in Belarus is fundamental to improving bilateral relations, and is essential to the prosperity of the country. The United States also remains committed to supporting Belarusian sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.