Belarus expels Swedish ambassador: Swedish foreign minister

STOCKHOLM Fri Aug 3, 2012 9:34am EDT

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt speaks during a joint news conference with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov and Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in the headquarters of the foreign ministry in Baghdad June 23, 2012. REUTERS/Karim Kadim/Pool

Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt speaks during a joint news conference with Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov and Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski in the headquarters of the foreign ministry in Baghdad June 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Karim Kadim/Pool

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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Belarus has expelled Sweden's ambassador to the country for his actions to support democracy, Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said on Friday.

"The Lukashenko regime in Belarus has decided to expel our ambassador," Bildt told reporters in a telephone briefing.

"They have made accusations against the ambassador. They are foundless. Fundamentally, this is about Sweden being engaged in democracy and human rights in Belarus."

Bildt said Belarus' incoming ambassador to Sweden would not be welcome and that two further Belarusian diplomats in Sweden had been asked to leave.

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