Belarus opposition leader calls for talks

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Belarus opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya has called for negotiations with the government of her country, saying the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the United Nations are ready to mediate.

"They are ready to organise a platform and act as mediators, as well as to force the regime to negotiate", Tsikhanouskaya said in a prerecorded video statement released on Thursday.

In a separate written statement, released by her office on Thursday, Tsikhanouskaya demanded release of political prisoners and end of crackdown as preconditions for the negotiation.

Continuation of the protests in Belarus is necessary to force the authorities to sit down at the negotiating table, Tsihkanouskaya said in the statement.