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Tajikistan: OSCE Condemns Hostage Taking As Terrorism

Vienna, 12 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says it is seriously concerned about the situation in Tajikistan and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of hostages.

A statement issued today by the current chairman of OSCE, Denmark's Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen, described the seizure of hostages as an act of terrorism. The statement also describes the hostages, who include United Nations representatives, as people who came into the country to assist the local population, the government and other political forces in their endeavors to reach a peaceful settlement of the conflict and to build a stable and democratic state.

The OSCE says the present situation impedes the activities of international organisations in Tajikistan and complicates the ongoing negotiations. And, it says, the situation only increases the already-heavy burdens on the population of Tajikistan.

The OSCE has its own mission to Tajikistan but none of its officers has been taken hostage.