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OSCE Chairmanship Starts Consultations On Continuing Work In Belarus

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis (file photo)
The chairmanship of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Office (OSCE) says it has started consultations to find a solution that would enable the OSCE to continue its work in Belarus.

The OSCE chairman-in-office, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis, said he "deeply regrets" that Belarusian authorities did not extend the mandate of the OSCE Office in Minsk.

Azubalis said the OSCE "started informal consultations to find an agreement acceptable to all."

The OSCE has maintained a presence in Minsk since 1998.

The mandate of the office must be renewed annually by the 56 OSCE participating states and it expired on December 31.

Belarus refused to extend the mandate.