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    DEVELOPMENTS IN SOUTH CAUCASUS, CENTRAL ASIA AND TRANSDNIESTRIA SHOULD BE OSCE PRIORITIES - PASI

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    VIENNA, January 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should closely follow developments in the South Caucasian, Central Asian and Transdniestrian regions (Transdniestria is a self-proclaimed republic within Moldova) and make it one of its priorities.

    This was the statement made on Thursday through the OSCE secretariat in Vienna by incumbent chairman of the Organization, Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Solomon Pasi.

    He said that for Bulgaria as the country holding the rotating chairmanship of the OSCE in 2004 one of the priorities would be to assist to Georgia in pursuing serious political reforms.

    Pasi also pointed out that Central Asia remained one of the major areas for OSCE attention.

    "This region is in constant need of help from our Organization in fighting international terrorism, organized crime, and traffic in arms, drugs and people," Pasi said.

    Besides, he remarked, the OSCE would also give regular assistance to authorities in Central Asian states on the environment, and in solving problems of irrigation and land reclamation.

    The serving OSCE chairman expressed concern at developments in the Transdniestrian region, especially following a pause in talks on the status of the self-proclaimed republic.

    Pasi said that representatives of states acting as intermediaries in Transdniestrian settlement would meet in Sofia at the end of January, and expressed hopes that five-way talks (Russia, Ukraine, OSCE, Moldova (Chisinau) and Moldova (Transdniestria)) on Transdniestria would resume.

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