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Belarus: OSCE Concerned About Political Situation

  • Roland Eggleston

Vienna, 10 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has again urged Belarus to accept its offer to provide assistance in developing a democratic form of government.

A spokesman at OSCE headquarters in Vienna said yesterday the organization is ready to resume the negotiations on opening an OSCE office in Minsk. Belarus gave preliminary permission in June but stopped the negotiations in July because of a dispute with OSCE's parliamentary assembly.

The spokesman said OSCE remains concerned at developments in Belarus and the political situation there.

Belarus Foreign minister Ivan Antonovich is scheduled to discuss the proposed mission at a meeting of the OSCE permanent council in Vienna on September 18. He was originally expected to attend this week's meeting of the council but was unable to do so.

Antonovich will be the first member of the Belarus government to address a full session of the OSCE since it issued a report in April charging that the Belarus authorities were creating a form of totalitarian government.