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Belarus Blocks Pre-Election U.S.-EU Visit --> U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Dan Fried (file photo) (official site) 4 February 2006 -- A high-level visit to Belarus by U.S. and European Union officials has been cancelled after Belarus authorities reportedly failed to issue visas.

The officials -- Robert Cooper, director-general for external and political-military affairs at the Council of the European Union, and Dan Fried, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Europe -- had planned during the trip to discuss the presidential elections scheduled for 19 March.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Washington was disappointed that Minsk had not taken the opportunity to engage in an "open and frank dialogue" with the international community.


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