Lavrov leaves for Almaty to meet with OSCE foreign ministers
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov begins visit to Kazakhstan to take part in an informal meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Almaty on July 16-17, Itar-Tass reported.
The meeting will bring together representatives of foreign ministries from 56 OSCE member-countries to develop a dialogue on security on the Euro-Atlantic space and to discuss the plans for the OSCE summit in Astana.
The meeting will focus on pressing problems in the OSCE zone of responsibility and beyond, including the situation in Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Friday.
Delegates will discuss the results of the dialogue within the framework of the Corfu Process launched a year ago to tackle the European security on the basis of open, wide-ranging and lasting discussions.
Moscow hopes that high on the agenda will be Russia's initiative to create a European security treaty.
Special attention will be paid to the issues that will top the agenda of the OSCE summit in Astana. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev initiated Astana's hosting the summit before the end of the year. Most countries, including Russia, have already supported the idea.
The talks in the bilateral and multilateral formats will take place on the sidelines of the meeting. The Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers are expected to hold a meeting with participation of co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Russia, France and the U.S.) and the OSCE president to discuss the Karabakh conflict settlement.
It is not ruled out that Almaty would host a unique meeting that will bring together heads and top officials of seven regional organizations engaged in resolving security issues on the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space: OSCE, EU, NATO, the Council of Europe, CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Such meetings could become regular in the future, the official said.
The OSCE includes 56 countries, all European countries, five Central Asian states, the U.S. and Canada.