KAZAKHSTAN To Assume OSCE Chairmanship in 2010

Kazakhstan will become the first ex-Soviet state to assume the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), it was announced here at the close of the organization’s annual ministerial meeting. The oil-rich Central Asian state will occupy the chair in 2010 — one year later than it had sought, OSCE spokeswoman Virginie Coulloudon told RFE/RL just after the two-day summit’s final press conference on November 30. The United States reportedly gave its backing after securing a Kazakh “pledge” that Astana would “protect” the OSCE’s election-monitoring body, whose role Russia had proposed to alter. Full Story

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