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Belarus: Foreign Minister To Attend OSCE Meeting

Vienna, 27 August 1997 (RFE/RL/) - Belarus Foreign Minister Ivan Antonovich has agreed to attend a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to discuss the political situation and the state of democracy in Belarus.

An OSCE spokesman said today that Antonovich will address a meeting of the organization's permanent council in Vienna on September 11. He said all 54 members of the OSCE are expected to attend.

It will be the first time a senior member of the Belarus government has addressed a full session of the OSCE since the organisation issued a report in April which found that the Belarus authorities were constructing a form of totalitarian government.The report was critical of the police, the judiciary and of restrictions on freedom of the media and freedom of assembly.

A spokesman said the OSCE will press Antonovich to resume talks on opening an office in Minsk to promote democracy.