President meets key Belarus opposition leader

President Andrzej Duda met with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on Wednesday for talks on the continuing political repression in Belarus.

The talks also covered the role of the OSCE, the UN Human Rights Council and a return to the observance of human rights in Belarus, Polish presidential aide Krzysztof Szczerski told PAP.

Tsikhanouskaya was defeated in an August 2020 presidential election in Belarus, widely held to have been rigged, which saw incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko win a sixth term. She claims to have won a majority of the votes.

Since then the authorities have clamped down hard on political dissent, arresting hundreds of people.

Krzysztof Szczerski, the head of the International Policy Bureau at the President's Office, said the talks had covered the political situation in Belarus and "how the international community can deal with the persecution of Poles in Belarus and a return to the observance of human rights there."

In recent weeks leaders of the Polish community in Belarus have been arrested.