Belarus forces US to close public diplomacy, USAID offices | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Belarus forces US to close public diplomacy, USAID offices

Belarus has forced the closure of the U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy and USAID offices in a move that comes amid the tensions with the U.S. and its allies over Belarusian authorities' crackdown on protests.

Samantha Power, the U.S. Agency for International Development administrator, said Friday that the Belarusian authorities aim to “severely disrupt U.S. development assistance and public diplomacy in Belarus by forcing the closure of facilities that house key U.S. Government operations, and by ending employment of all of USAID’s local staff and Department of State public diplomacy staff.”

She added that the move, which is effective Nov. 20, demonstrates the authorities’ “callous disregard of the interests of the Belarusian people.”

U.S. Envoy for Belarus Julie Fisher described the Belarusian authorities' decision as a reflection of their "deep insecurities about the role of diplomacy, people-to-people ties and independent civil society.”

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