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4 Dec, 2008 03:01

OSCE talks to focus on fresh plans for European security

Foreign Ministers are meeting in Helsinki to discuss proposals for improved European security and ways to avoid conflicts like the one in South Ossetia. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will concentrate on initiatives put for

Alexander Stubb, the Finnish Foreign Minister and current chairman of the OSCE, hopes the talks will be productive.

“I expect a meeting rich in events,” he said. “It is high time to discuss European security and its future.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will be attending the meeting and plans to submit the Russian-French proposal for a treaty on pan-European security while possibly inviting other treaty organisations into the mix and a possible restructuring of the OSCE.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko, said: “We shall voice support for continuing the process of reforming the organisation so as to turn it into a valuable and efficient international organisation, including for adoption of its Charter and drafting collective rules in the sphere of monitoring elections and adjustment of the operation of field missions.”

Stubb also supported the call for a restructuring of the organisation.

“If we draw a conclusion that the organisation is being renovated, it can be said that we have done much,” he said. “If Russia puts forth constructive proposals, we should examine them attentively and discuss jointly. The OSCE is the only place where we can do this.”

The conference will be attended by 56 Foreign Ministers and will follow in the footsteps of previous conferences that proved crucial for the security of Europe, like the Helsinki conference in 1976.

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