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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Council Snubs Belarus

PARIS -- The Council of Europe has rejected a bid by Belarus to attend a rare summit next week, officials said Monday.

The council suspended nonmember Belarus' "special guest" status in January, saying its new constitution fell short of democratic standards and handed too much power to President Alexander Lukashenko.

"Lukashenko tried at the last moment to be invited," said Jacques Warin, the French permanent representative at the Strasbourg-based council.

Warin said the council rejected the request, judging Belarus had failed to match council goals of safeguarding democracy and human rights.