Kazakhstan's chances to be OSCE president depend on elections
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Kazakhstan's chances of becoming president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe depend, among other things, on how strictly the parliamentary elections due in August will comply with international standards.
"I have always been positive about Kazakhstan's bid to become OSCE president in 2009. We think Kazakhstan must continue considering this prospect. But the organization has somewhat shifted decision-making. No that parliamentary elections are approaching I think it's important for Kazakhstan to ensure that the elections comply with international requirements," Steinmeier said at a press briefing in Berlin on Saturday after a meeting of the European troika (the foreign ministers of Germany and Portugal and representatives of the European Union ) and the Central Asian foreign ministers.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin said that the EU countries' careful attention to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, given Kazakhstan's bid to assume the rotating presidency of the OSCE, was correct.
"Kazakhstan's priorities in the context of its plans to become OSCE president are consonant with the key provisions of the EU strategy regarding central Asia," he said.
In December 2006 the OSCE foreign ministers failed to reach a consensus, and put off the debates of Kazakhstan's bid to become OSCE president in 2009 until the end of 2007. A ministerial meeting is expected to be held in Madrid in November.