Statement by the Press Secretary: 10th Anniversary of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Belarus (7/27/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
July 27, 2000


     July 27 marks the tenth anniversary of the Declaration of State
Sovereignty of Belarus by the Belarusian Supreme Council.  This historic
act was an important step toward the establishment of an independent and
democratic Belarusian state and a clear expression of the will of the
Belarusian people.

     Ten years later, however, much remains to be done to realize the dream
of a democratic and independent Belarus in which the rights of all citizens
are respected, and which  is part of the international and Euroatlantic
community.  The United States firmly supports the people of Belarus in
their desire to achieve these goals and calls on the Belarusian authorities
to take all necessary steps to hold free and fair elections, beginning with
parliamentary elections this fall.

     In this regard, the United States also calls on the Belarusian
authorities to fulfill promptly the four conditions set out by the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as a basis for sending
international observers to the parliamentary elections.  These conditions
include: respect for human rights and an end to the climate of fear; access
to the state media for the democratic opposition; creation of a democratic
electoral code; and granting real power to the parliament to be elected.  A
thorough investigation and accounting of those who have disappeared is also

     We know that the spirit of the Declaration of State Sovereignty is
alive among the people of Belarus.  On this anniversary, they should know
that they have the support of the people and the Government of the United


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