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Germany, France and Poland urge for free and fair election in Belarus

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany, France and Poland are observing developments in Belarus with “great concern” ahead of the presidential vote this weekend, they said in a joint statement on Friday, urging authorities to conduct the election in a free and fair manner.

Thousands of opposition supporters had rallied in Minsk on Thursday, defying a crackdown by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s government ahead of the election.

He is facing the biggest challenge in years to his rule and accuses protesters of being in cahoots with foreign backers to destabilise the country.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Thomas Seythal

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