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On 28 July 2015, the European Union and the Republic of Belarus held a dialogue on human rights in Brussels, Belgium. The EU delegation was led by Mr Silvio Gonzato, Director for Human Rights and Democracy in the European External Action Service. The Belarusian delegation was led by Mr Yuri Ambrazevich, Director-General for Multilateral Diplomacy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The discussions centred on a range of issues, including the establishment of a National Human Rights Institution, freedom of expression, assembly and association, the death penalty and the fight against torture and ill-treatment as well as children's rights. Cooperation with the UN and coordination on multilateral issues were equally discussed. The EU raised the detention of human rights defenders and political prisoners.
The talks demonstrated the commitment of the EU and Belarus to deepen their relations including in the area of human rights. They allowed for a frank and respectful preliminary exchange on issues of substance with a view to building trust, promoting reforms and developing cooperation.