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Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel chairs meeting of EU Troika with OSCE delegation

Kosovo, the South Caucasus, the Transnistrian region and Afghanistan were the main topics of the meeting between the EU Troika and the OSCE chaired by the President of the General Affairs and External Relations Council, Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dimitrij Rupel. The OSCE delegation was led by Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, who presides over this organisation this year. Minister Rupel highlighted that both the EU and the OSCE endeavour to ensure peace and stability in all these areas, and that cooperation between the organisations is of utmost importance; regular meetings contribute to this objective.

As regards Kosovo, Minister Rupel emphasised the significance of international coordination, in particular during the transition period. He expressed the desire that the OSCE mission should continue to work and cooperate with the EULEX mission, as well as the special EU representative to be deployed to Kosovo by the EU. Minister Rupel also drew attention to the role played by the OSCE mission in Kosovo, especially to the interests of the Serbian community.

As regards the situation in the South Caucasus countries, Minister Rupel pointed out the issue of elections to be held in the region this year. The EU is greatly interested in free and fair elections and supports the work of international missions conducting election supervision. In connection with solving conflicts in the area of the South Caucasus, Minister Rupel confirmed that the EU supports OSCE endeavours within the Minsk Group aimed at a peaceful, lasting and fair resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue; he further expressed the hope that a meeting between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan would be held in the near future.

As regards Transnistria, Minister Rupel informed his counterparts about the topics discussed during the recent visit of Moldova's Deputy Prime Minister, Andrei Stratan, to Ljubljana, and expressed his satisfaction over the recent meeting between Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin and the Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov.

The discussion about Afghanistan also included issues of the central Asian region. In this context, Minister Rupel emphasised the leading role of the EU in the transition of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, among other things in relation to programmes concerning border security. Afghanistan is undoubtedly one of the EU's priorities, and Minister Rupel stressed the importance of cooperation between the EU and the OSCE and the representations of both organisations in the region.


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Date: 02.05.2008