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OSCE to be given more weight

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey says the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has a lot of untapped potential.

Speaking in the Kazakhstan capital, Astana at the first OSCE summit to be held in 11 years, Calmy-Rey said a plan of action to be adopted during the meeting would enhance the institution’s standing as a security-policy organisation.

She added that the action plan would strengthen its capacities with clear goals and obligations.

The goals and values first defined in 1975 could be best applied in the region where the two-day summit is being held, Calmy-Rey explained. She said the 2008 Georgian conflict had very negative consequences for the region.

Resolving tensions between Georgia and Russia over the secessionist state of South Ossetia was believed to have been discussed during a meeting between Calmy-Rey and Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili.

The Swiss foreign minister also held bilateral talks with American Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.

The OSCE emerged in 1994 from the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Swiss foreign ministry says that the OSCE has been making a vital contribution to democracy-building in the former East-bloc countries.

All European states, including the successor states to the Soviet Union, belong to the OSCE, as do the US and Canada. and agencies

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