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BASEL, December 5. /TASS/. The Council of Ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at its annual meeting in Basel on Friday will focus on combating terrorism. This issue is the main item on the agenda of the second and final day of the forum.
According to the official program, the morning session will start at 09:00am local time (08:00 GMT). Delegations of governments and international organizations will make statements in which they will set forth their countries’ approaches to countering the terrorism threat. The OSCE 57 participating states are expected to have more agreement on this issue than on the highly politicized Ukrainian theme that prevailed during the first day of the session.
The second item on Friday’s meeting agenda is making decisions and approval (or disapproval) of various documents submitted by the delegations. The final session will start in the afternoon. The results of the two-day meeting will be summarized by OSCE Chairman-in-Office, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland Didier Burkhalter who also plans to meet reporters.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who leads the Russian delegation will hold a news conference on Friday during which he will set forth Russia’s assessment of the Basel forum. Many reproaches were hurled at Moscow at the meeting on Thursday. The forum participants said, in particular, that the reunification of Crimea with Russia was held allegedly with violation of international law, they also made unfounded suppositions that Russian troops are present in the south-east of Ukraine.
The meeting participants failed to adopt a declaration on the Ukrainian crisis, as the OSCE countries could not reach consensus on its causes. The Russian foreign minister for his part said in his speech that the Ukrainian crisis was caused by outside interference in the country’s affairs. He also said that the potential of OSCE as an institution that is responsible for the maintenance of peace in Europe could be fully realised only if it is registered as an international organization with all the corresponding functions and attributes.
Lavrov will also hold on Friday a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the meeting of the OSCE Council of Ministers. In particular, he plans talks with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian. On Thursday, the Russian minister held meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Didier Burkhalter, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. As for Kerry, he left Basel on Thursday, despite the fact that the main issue at the plenary session on Friday will be combating terrorism, which the US authorities have repeatedly called one of the main threats to the country’s security.