Security and stability in the European region can be achieved only by working together. The summer session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, which will take place in Minsk, will contribute to this goal.
On December 20, at the Palace of Independence, Alexander Lukashenko received the representatives of this organization.
During the meeting, the sides discussed security issues in the region, as well as the parliamentary elections in Belarus. The session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is an annual event that is traditionally held in one of the capitals of the participating organizations.
A decision to hold it in Belarus was adopted unanimously at the meeting of the Standing Committee in Tbilisi.
Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
We agreed that at any time, at your desire, we can meet and discuss old and new issues that have emerged or may arise. Following the agreements and promises, today I meet with you and I am looking forward to a frank conversation.
The decision has been made to hold the session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly the middle of 2017.
The issue of security and cooperation more than ever should sound loud and be intertwined, because security cannot exist without cooperation. As we say, if we are like wolves to each other, if we do not cooperate and talk 'through the fence', we can't talk about any security in the region.
We must do everything to protect our region.
You know as well as me what's going on in the world, you see it every day and every day we live is a day amid tensions in international relations, and we also need to appreciate our region, your home country and Belarus as a safe, good country, where you can live peacefully and more or less normally. And get decent salary. The forthcoming OSCE PA should be an important step to further ensure the stability and security in Europe.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe includes 57 states of the Old World, Central Asia and North America. It is the largest regional organization, which main purpose is conflict prevention and response, crisis management.
The OSCE's activities cover a wide range of issues, from fighting terrorism to economic and environmental security, as well as the development of democratic institutions and human rights.
Belarus has been member of the OSCE since 1992.
Kent Härstedt, vice chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:
I thank you for the opportunity to discuss in detail all the relevant issues.
We are committed to work together for the sake of prosperity of the independent Belarus.
The OSCE is trying to be a very constructive partner. I have repeatedly said that we are working in the spirit of good cooperation with your country.
The mission of OSCE observers has been working in the parliamentary elections in Belarus and has already published its final report. The document notes the effective organization of the elections, a number of positive changes, as well as some observations and recommendations.
During the visit, the OSCE delegation met with the head of the Central Election Commission of Belarus and took part in a session of the interdepartmental expert working group.