Ministerial Troika agrees OSCE should play strong role in Kosovo in future

Politics Materials 23 January 2007 11:26 (UTC +04:00)

(OSCE) - The OSCE Ministerial Troika met today and agreed the Organization remained committed to maintaining a mission in Kosovo after a future status agreement.

"The OSCE has played a vital part in Kosovo over the years and built up a great deal of experience," said Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who is this year's Chairman-in-Office. "That experience can be capitalized on in the future and so the OSCE should have a fully fledged role with other international players there."

The OSCE Troika brings together the 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 along with Anne Sipilainen, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Foreign Ministry's Political Department.

The Troika also discussed the outcome of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Serbia.

"Democratic forces in Serbia won the majority of the votes, and that is to be welcomed," said Minister Moratinos.

The Troika agreed the sides in the so-called frozen conflicts - protracted conflicts in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union - should be urged to resume constructive negotiations without delay and build on progress where it has been made.

"We have been encouraged by the intensive mediation efforts of the Minsk Group, supported by the Chairman-in-Office, last year and we urge the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan to redouble their efforts this year," said Minister Moratinos. He noted the two countries' foreign ministers were scheduled to meet in Moscow on Tuesday.

The Minsk Group comprises co-chairmen from France, Russia and the United States and spearheads the OSCE's efforts to find a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Troika welcomed the work being done on the infrastructure rehabilitation programme in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict and hoped remaining donors would provide funds soon.

The OSCE Troika backed Spain's strong focus on preventing and combating terrorism, on environmental security and on tackling 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.