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Hungary Withdraws Bid For Top OSCE Post

Vienna, April 24 (RFE/RL) - Slovakia has blocked the appointment of a senior Hungarian diplomat, Istvan Gyarmati, as the next secretary-general of the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE).

An OSCE spokesman told our correspondent today Hungary withdrew Gyarmati's nomination on Monday because Slovakia had made clear it would deny consensus. OSCE officials said the reason appeared to be bilateral political tensions between Slovakia and Hungary.

Gyarmati, who was Hungary's representative to the OSCE for many years, was supported by most of the other 52 active members of OSCE. However the support of all active members is required for the post. the spokesman said Slovakia has blocked Gyaramati's nomination since the OSCE foreign ministers meeting last december. .

The present secretary-general is the German diplomat Wilhelm Hoynck, whose term expires on June 15.

Officials said intensive negotiations are now underway to find a candidate acceptable to all members. Poland is among those which have offered a candidate. Slovakia itself has proposed the Slovak diplomat Jan Kubis, who is currently the director of the OSCE center for conflict prevention.