German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a session of the lower house of the parliament (Bundestag), in Berlin, Germany, on September 30, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will meet Belarusí opposition figure Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, days after French President Emmanuel Macron met with her in Lithuania.
"I will soon meet the opposition leader Ms. Tsikhanouskaya," Merkel told parliament on Wednesday.
Initial reports had said Tsikhanouskaya would visit the German capital, Berlin, in early October, when she might meet with Merkel. The meeting, however, had not been fixed, Tsikhanouskayaís spokeswoman Anna Krasulina had said on Tuesday.
Merkel had formerly said that she was also "seeking dialog" with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Last month, after the European Union (EU) refused to recognize Lukashenkoís re-election, Merkel said, "President Lukashenko has not yet spoken to anyone on the phone, but we are seeking dialog, and we will of course insist on certain things."
Lukashenko won the countryís presidential election in August. Tsikhanouskaya rejected the official results of the election and claimed there had been voter fraud. Belarus has been experiencing unrest since.
Tikhanovskaya, who later fled to Lithuania in the aftermath of the election, has been rallying Western support for herself. Several Western states have thrown their weight behind the opposition protests, threatening Lukashenko with sanctions.
Earlier this month, French President Macron visited Lithuania to meet with the Belarusian opposition figure.
Lukashenko has rejected the allegations of vote rigging but proposed the drafting of a new constitution less reliant on the head of state.