US Under Secretary of State David Hale for Political Affairs met Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei in Minsk on Tuesday, becoming the first such high-ranking American diplomat to visit the country in 25 years.

Hale also met President Alexander Lukashenko for talks on political, economic and human rights issues.

After meeting with the president, the countries announced the mutual return of ambassadors.

Washington withdrew its ambassador from Minsk in 2008 after 30 of 35 American diplomats were expelled from Belarus.

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