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World: Belarus, OSCE To Talk On Opening Mission In Minsk

Vienna, 20 June 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Belarus Foreign Minister Ivan Antonovich is due today to meet a senior official from the OSCE -- the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe -- to discuss establishing an OSCE office in Minsk.

The OSCE envoy, Ole Bierring, is expected to discuss a date for establishing the advisory and monitoring office, as well as the conduct of its operations.

Earlier this week, the OSCE issued a statement in which it expressed satisfaction at the positive response from Belarus to an OSCE offer to assist the country in achieving a more democratic form of government.

The Minsk office was recommended by an OSCE mission that visited Belarus in April and afterward issued a highly critical report. It concluded -- after talks with government and opposition leaders -- that Belarussian authorities are constructing a system of totalitarian government.