Athens, 1 December 2009 Press release

Spindelegger: “Strengthening the OSCE rather than developing a new security architecture”

The future of security in Europe – Foreign Minister at OSCE Conference in Athens

Athens, 1 December 2009 – “The Russian proposal for a new security agreement merits detailed examination. But for all of us one thing is certainly not up for discussion: this debate must take place within the OSCE, not outside it,” stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at today’s Ministerial Conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Athens.

“We need an open and direct debate about the future of security in Europe. In June, all member states of the OSCE initiated a comprehensive discussion on this issue in Corfu. This Corfu Process is the answer to the Russian concern. Embarking on a completely new course would be the wrong signal at the moment,” stated Spindelegger, making it clear that “the European security dialogue must continue at OSCE level”.

“Our goal is clear: what we need to do is achieve a better understanding and greater mutual confidence among all OSCE members. In these efforts, the willingness to cooperate in the resolution of “unresolved” conflicts, such as those in the Caucasus, and a clear commitment to a strong OSCE and compliance with all obligations within the framework of this organisation would be the best contribution to building confidence on our continent. We will nevertheless examine proposals for new mechanisms and agreements. In our opinion, the primary objective should be to effectively make use of and deploy all existing OSCE mechanisms instead of developing a completely new security architecture for our continent,” concluded Spindelegger.

The Foreign Minister seized the opportunity of the OSCE Conference in Athens to hold a number of bilateral talks. He met with the foreign ministers of Macedonia, Antonio Milososki, of Georgia, Grigol Vaschadze, of Moldova, Iurie Leanca, of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Imamovich Norov, and of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, among others. In addition, there were also bilateral meetings with the foreign ministers of the current OSCE chair, Greece, and the next chair, Kazakhstan.


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