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Lukashenko to Pompeo: Russia is an ally, we respond to threats together - agencies cite Belarus state TV

FILE PHOTO: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko chairs a meeting with high-ranking officials in Minsk, Belarus October 21, 2020. Nikolai Petrov/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday that Moscow was a close ally of Minsk and that the two stood ready to respond together to external threats, Russian news agencies said, citing Belarus state TV.

Describing the two officials’ phone call on Saturday, Belarus state TV said Pompeo told Lukashenko that the United States supported Belarus’ sovereignty and wanted to develop cooperation between the two countries, Russian news agencies reported.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Matthias Williams and Alison Williams