(Communicated by the Foreign Minister's Bureau)
In a special news conference held on Friday, 12 October, which was broadcast live on national radio, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko expressed harsh anti-Semitic remarks against Jews and Israel. While relating to the miserable circumstances of the rural town of Bobruisk, Lukashenko said "Well, obviously, it is a Jewish town. The Jews do not care for the place they live in, look at Israel, I have been there". He added that the town was re-organized after the Jews left, and called for Jews "with money" to return to Bobruisk.
Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni strongly condemned the President's harsh anti-Semitic remarks. "The role of leadership is to fight anti-Semitism wherever it raises its ugly head, all over the world, not to encourage it! Anti-Semitism is primarily an indicator of the society in which it appears and of its leaders".
Igor Lacnia, the Belarusian ambassador to Israel, has been summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and will be advised of the strong condemnation.