A U.S. congressional delegation led by Representative Mike Quigley is visiting Minsk on 13-14 August, the U.S. Embassy in Belarus reports.
This is Representative Quigley’s first time visiting Belarus.
“The delegation will meet with Belarusian government officials to discuss bilateral U.S.-Belarusian relations and underscore the U.S.’ commitment to supporting the sovereignty and independence of Belarus,” the message reads.
As the Belarusian Foreign Ministry later reported, the congressman had a meeting with Belarus’ Deputy Foreign MinisterAndrei Dapkiunas.
Before his visit to Minsk, the congressman from the State of Illinois visited Vilnius, where he met with Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. According to Diena.lt, the issue of the BelNPP and its threat to the national security of the country was discussed among other things.
Actually, this is not the first visit of the U.S. official to Minsk this year. In March and July, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent visited the capital. He then noted that visits of the U.S. representatives to Belarus will be regular.
Recall that on 11 January, Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei reportedly notified Washington about the lifting of a cap on the number of American diplomats in Minsk. Shortly afterward, negotiations on the mutual expansion of the diplomatic presence started.
Since 2008, the US Embassy in Minsk has been functioning with the limited number of officials (five, and later 10). The functions of the ambassador were performed by the Charge d’Affaires.
This was after the US imposed additional sanctions on the country. The normal size of a U.S. embassy in a country like Belarus is about 30 diplomats plus local staff.