Massive security operation set in motion in Basel

The area around Basel's convention centre will be completely closed off during the event Patrik Tschudin via Flickr Creative Commons

This content was published on November 26, 2014 - 13:40 and agencies

The city of Basel is preparing for a large-scale meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on December 4-5. High-level security measures will be put in place as 1,200 international delegates arrive in the city.

Officials announced on Wednesday that the Basel police force will be supported by reinforcements from across the country as well as the Swiss army. The troops will have a security role but will also work on logistical issues. Sixty vehicles are on standby and 5.6km of crowd railings have been prepared.

Guests are expected from 57 countries, including numerous foreign ministers who will attend the Ministerial Council meeting.

Overall around 3,600 troops have been deployed, but up to 5,000 in total could be made available if needed.

The Swiss air force is working closely alongside the Germans and the French to secure the airspace.

The area around Basel’s convention centre, where the event will be held, will be completely blocked off between December 3-5. Parts of the city centre will also be blocked off on Thursday evening while the delegates dine at a restaurant.

Attendees are expected to include Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, US Secretary of State John Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. 

Canton Basel City has budgeted almost CHF2.9 million ($3 million) for the event, CHF2 million of which will go towards security. Security costs overall are expected to add up to CHF7.4 million, with the majority of the bill being footed by the Swiss government, which will also stump up CHF10.77 million for the actual execution of the conference.

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