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7th World Congress of Belarusians opens in Minsk

Photo: Radio Svaboda

The 7th World Congress of Belarusians opened on July 15 in Minsk. 160 delegates from abroad and 145 from Belarus are participating. Belarus Foreign Minister Uladizmir Makei, opened the congress with a welcome address, reports Radio Svaboda.

“Between 3 and 4 million Belarusians abroad is a huge force, Makei said at the opening of the congress. "I agree with Svetlana Alexievich who once told me that Belarus was fed up witn wars and revolutions. We must do everything so that our contry develops through evolution."

The chairwoman of the World Association of Belarusians "Baćkaŭščyna" Alena Makouskaya announced this year;s theme of the congress: "Belarusian nation, statehood, diaspora: challenges and development strategies."

Radzim Haretski, former president of the World Association of Belarusians, called on Belarusians to unite for the sake of further development of the independent state. He reminded that this year is year of important anniversaries: 500 years of Belarusian and east-Slavic book publishing, 100 years since the All-Belarusian People's Congress which laid the foundation for the Belarusian People's Republic, 80 years since the peak of Stalinist repressions in Belarus.

The first congress of Belarusians took place in 1993 with over 1300 delegates from Belaarus and diaspora.