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    Duda Resigned from Group Photo at COP28 Due to Lukashenko’s Presence

    Polish President Andrzej Duda declined to participate in a group photo at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, citing the presence of Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, according to a statement from the President’s Office.

    President Duda, currently on a three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates for the COP28 Conference, chose not to join the group photo session with fellow conference participants. Grazyna Ignaczak-Bandych, the head of the President’s Office, conveyed this decision on Friday through the X platform.

    The refusal was explicitly linked to the presence of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, whom Ignaczak-Bandych referred to as “the Belarussian dictator.”

    In solidarity with President Duda’s stance, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda and Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics also opted not to participate in the group photograph. President Nauseda stated, “It would be hypocritical to stand arm in arm with the leader of the country from which Russia conducted its attack on Ukraine and, as if nothing had happened, discuss the future of the world and climate change.”

    According to reports from the Baltic states’ news agency BNS, the leaders’ decision not to participate in the photo was driven by their principled objection to Lukashenko’s presence at the conference.

    The 28th edition of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) began on Friday in Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. These annual conferences, held since 1995, aim to facilitate the development of government policies to mitigate global temperature increases and address the impacts associated with climate change. The COP28 Conference is scheduled to conclude on December 12.

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