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Belarus Seeks Israeli Help With EU, U.S.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka (left) with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Minsk on June 4.
MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said he hopes Israel can help Minsk "normalize ties not only with Europe, but also with the United States," RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Lukashenka was commenting after a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in the Belarusian capital.

Lukashenka added that he hopes Lieberman will help personally on the issue in light of his Soviet birth.

He added that Israel is not an alien country to Belarusians because "tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of our compatriots are living there and their fates are important for us."

Lieberman arrived in Minsk on June 3 for the first visit by an Israeli foreign minister in 15 years.

Lieberman, who was born in Moldova, is the founder and current leader of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, whose electoral base depends heavily on immigrants from former Soviet countries.