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OSCE ministerial meeting ends with divergence over Ukraine

The annual meeting of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council closed here Friday with representatives from its 57 members failing to reach complete consensus on all the challenging issues from terrorism threat to the Ukraine crisis.

The meeting's final session was chaired by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who is also the OSCE's chairperson-in-office, and attended by 40 foreign ministers and representatives of members along with more than 1,000 delegates.

This year's central topics were the challenge of terrorism, the Ukraine crisis and the refugee crisis in Europe.

Dacic told reporters after the meeting that the OSCE Ministerial Council recognized the urgency of the refugee issue and others and made several important decisions on how to respond to terrorism, but failed to agree on issues including the origin of the conflict in Ukraine.

He said that although all members acknowledged the importance of the OSCE mission to Ukraine and maintaining ceasefire in east Ukraine, they have different views about the cause of the crisis.

The Belgrade conference contributed to building confidence among OSCE members, Dacic said, highlighting the much-anticipated first meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu after Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 fighter jet on Nov. 24 on the Syrian border.

Calling for joint effort to address conflicts, Dacic said OSCE members need to rebuild trust in the face of new challenges and find mutually acceptable solutions.

Germany will take over the OSCE chairmanship from Serbia on Jan. 1.

[Source: Xinhua, Belgrade, 04Dec15]

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small logoThis document has been published on 14Dec15 by the Equipo Nizkor and Derechos Human Rights. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.