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London and Washington skeptically assess Kazakhstan chances to become OSCE chair in 2009

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The US and Great Britain are skeptical about chances of Kazakhstan to become OSCE chair in 2009, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Rakhat Aliyev is quoted by REGNUM correspondent to say August 28 in Astana. According to Aliyev, they in London and Washington consider insufficient realization by the Republic of its so-called humanitarian commitments the main obstacle on its way to becoming OSCE chair.

The US and Great Britain point out the necessity of amending the national electoral law, particularly on creating balanced electoral commissions, revoking bans on organization of rallies, meetings, and demonstrations. London and Washington recommend Kazakhstan to adopt laws on local self-government, to amend the media law according to the OSCE standards, boost independence of judges, expand parliament powers, and reform the Prosecutors Office.

At the same time, according to Aliyev, Kazakhstan now does not have rivals to preside at OSCE. “Up till today, no alternative candidacy for presiding the OSCE in 2009 has been registered in the organization,” he says. No case of turning down a candidacy, on any motive, has ever been filed in OSCE history, he maintains. Besides, the organization does not have “clear criteria set for a candidate country.” Kazakhstan, Aliyev says, has been supported by “influential OSCE countries,” including Germany, Greece, Spain, Latvia, Austria, Belgium, Lithuania, Netherlands, France, Finland, Hungary, Vatican, Turkey, and Switzerland. The issue of Kazakhstan becoming or not an OSCE presiding country will be resolved in the end of the year.

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