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Belarus Opposition Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Biden held a previously unannounced meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya Tuesday.

Driving the news: Tsikhanouskaya visited Washington, D.C. last week and met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan but notably did not get a meeting with the president.

What they're saying: In a tweet following their meeting, Biden reiterated the U.S.' support for the "people of Belarus in their quest for democracy and universal human rights."

  • Tsikhanouskaya tweeted her thanks to Biden for "a powerful sign of solidarity with millions of fearless Belarusians who are peacefully fighting for their freedom."
  • "Today, Belarus is on the frontline of the battle between democracy and autocracy," she added.

The big picture: Tsikhanouskaya's visit to the U.S. is intended to drum up renewed support for the opposition movement and urge the Biden administration to apply new sectoral sanctions.

  • In an interview with Axios last week, Tsikhanouskaya called on the U.S. to be "braver" and "stronger" in standing up to Aleksander Lukashenko's regime.
  • Franak Viačorka, Tsikhanouskaya's senior advisor, tweeted that the meeting with Biden marked the first time that a Belarusian leader was "received on such a high level in Washington D.C."

Go deeper

Biden and China's Xi agree to hold virtual summit before end of year

Then-Vice President Biden meets with Chinese President Xi in Davos in January 2017. Photo: Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images

President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have reached an agreement "in principle" to hold a virtual meeting before the end of the year, according to a senior administration official.

Driving the news: The White House announcement followed a six-hour meeting today in Zurich between White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

2 hours ago - Health

White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11

Charles Muro, 13, is inoculated at Hartford Healthcare's mass vaccination center at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Conn. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Wednesday released its plan to vaccinate children between the ages of five and 11, pending authorization from the Food and Drug Administration of the first COVID-19 shot for that age group.

The big picture: The White House said it has secured enough vaccine supply to equip more than 25,000 pediatric and primary care offices, hundreds of school and community health clinics, as well as tens of thousands of pharmacies, to administer the shots.

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