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Eastern Europe: Seminar On Minority Questions Begins

Prague, 10 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - An international seminar on the running of government offices for minority questions began today in Bucharest.

The two-day meeting is sponsored jointly by the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe and the Executive Commission of the European Union in Brussels.

Council of Europe officials told RFE/RL that discussions at this year's seminar will focus mainly on implementing the 39-nation organization's Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and on cooperation among different government offices dealing with minority questions.

The seminar is being attended by officials dealing with minority questions from 17 East European nations. Representatives of the council, the EU commission and the High Commissioner for National Minorities of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) are also at the meeting.

This is the third such annual seminar. The first two met in Budapest in 1994 and 1995.

The seminar was opened jointly this morning by council Deputy Secretary-General Peter Leuprecht and Viorel Hrebenciuc, Coordinator of the Romanian Council for National Minorities.

The 17 eastern nations attending are: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, (the former Yugoslav Republic of) Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.