The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, chaired today the annual EU-OSCE Ministerial meeting, on behalf of the High Representative of the Union on Foreign and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was represented by the Irish Minister of State, Ms Lucinda Creighton, on behalf of the OSCE’s Irish Chair in Office. She was also accompanied by the Troika members Mr. Evaldas Ignatavicius, Lithuania’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Mr. Viacheslav Yatsiuk, Head of 2013 OSCE Chairmanship Task Force of Ukraine.
The meeting focused on preparations for the upcoming Dublin Ministerial Council of December 6-7, including the Helsinki + 40 initiative, as well as current conflict-related issues in the OSCE area.
“We greatly value these discussions on pertinent policy issues and on how to further enhance practical cooperation between the European Union and the OSCE,” stated Dr. Marcoullis after the meeting, pointing to the importance of cooperation between the two organisations at all levels.
Recalling that the last meeting in this format took place in July 2011 in Brussels, Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister was pleased to note of the continued political dialogue and practical cooperation between the EU and the OSCE through various formats in the meantime.
During the meeting, the OSCE’s Irish chair-in-office informed of the preparations for the Ministerial Council in Dublin and stressed the important role of the EU in these preparations.
Dr. Marcoullis also stressed the importance of further strengthening EU–OSCE cooperation on conflict-related issues in the OSCE area, including on protracted conflicts in Moldova/Transnistria, Georgia and the Nagorno-Karabah conflict. She also referred to the Helsinki +40 initiative, as an excellent starting point for discussions on the future of the OSCE.
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