OSCE, EU agree to co-operate closely on Central Asia
|The OSCE Ministerial Troika and the EU Troika pledged today to co-operate closely on Central Asia, a priority area for both organizations. |
"We warmly welcome the EU's renewed focus and engagement in Central Asia," said Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who is this year's OSCE Chairman-in-Office.
"OSCE participating States have long agreed stability in Central Asia is important for security throughout the OSCE region. The EU strategy will send a strong additional signal to the countries of Central Asia about their importance," the Spanish Minister said. "We agree we should co-ordinate and co-operate closely, for example on border security and management projects."
The OSCE Troika brings together this year's Chairman-in-Office with the previous and succeeding Chairmen, or their representatives. Pierre Chevalier, the Special Envoy of last year's Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, took part in today's Troika meeting.
German Minister of State for Europe Gunter Gloser, whose country has the six-month rotating European Union presidency, attended the meeting along with Javier Solana, the European UnionЁfs High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. Portugal will hold the EU presidency in the second half of the year, and the Portuguese Secretary of State for Europe, Manuel Lobo Antunes, took part in todayЁfs OSCE-EU Troika meeting.
Finland, which held the EU presidency in the second half of 2006 and will chair the OSCE in 2008, was represented by Anne Sipilainen, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Political Department.
The OSCE Troika outlined the Organization's aim to maintain a mission in Kosovo after a future status agreement.
The OSCE and EU Troikas also discussed the so-called frozen conflicts - protracted conflicts in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union. The OSCE noted the parties in the conflicts should resume constructive negotiations without delay and build on progress where it has been made.
The OSCE briefed the EU on Spain's priorities for its Chairmanship, including a strong focus on preventing and combating terrorism, on environmental security - particularly water management and land degradation - and on tackling all forms of intolerance.
OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, who heads the Vienna-based OSCE Secretariat that provides continuity for the Chairmen-in-Office, also attended the meeting at Council of the European Union's Justus Lipsius Building.
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