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Astana, August 6: Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, OSCE Chairmanship in 2010 today welcomed the decision by the OSCE Ministerial Council to hold an OSCE Summit in Astana on 1 and 2 December 2010. He made the following statement:

"On 3 August of this year, the Ministerial Council of the OSCE participating States adopted a definitive decision on the holding of the Summit of this one of the largest international organizations in Astana on 1 and 2 December 2010. 

As you know, in my video address to the OSCE Permanent Council in January I identified the holding of a Summit as the main priority of the Kazakhstan's Chairmanship. 

The decision adopted is a sign of the high level of respect on the part of the international community for the successes achieved by the people of Kazakhstan during the years of independence. We also see in this great support for the efforts of our country as the holder of the post of OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. 

As the country heading the Organization, Kazakhstan is actively promoting the view that today the ensuring of European security goes far beyond the continental framework. 

Consequently, today the international community is already using the notion of Euro Atlantic and Eurasian security. 

In assuming the Chairmanship of the OSCE, we declared our intention to strengthen the role of the Organization in countering new threats and challenges, primarily terrorism and drug trafficking. 

We have therefore promoted as one of the main priorities of the Kazakhstan's Chairmanship the stepping up of efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution of the situation in Afghanistan. 

When we attempted to bring Central Asia's security problems to the attention of our OSCE partners, nobody could have predicted the deep political crisis in Kyrgyzstan. The dramatic events in that country posed a real challenge to the stability of the wider region. 

This called for the adoption of effective measures by the OSCE, other international organizations and the world community as a whole. 

We set ourselves the goal of strengthening the role of the OSCE in the development of economic co-operation and the resolution of environmental problems, especially the problem of the Aral Sea. 

I should like to stress in particular that the decision on the holding of the OSCE Summit in Astana represents a great achievement for the Organization itself in these difficult times. 

We now have to devise joint steps to deal with new and existing threats in all three dimensions in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area. The Astana Summit should identify the strategic areas of work and road map for the OSCE's development. 

I believe it is deeply symbolic that the adoption of the decision on the holding of the OSCE Summit in Astana coincided with a historic date. Thirty-five years ago, on 1 August 1975 the Helsinki Final Act was signed. 

I am convinced that a summit meeting will make it possible to adapt our Organization to the present-day realities. 

It will demonstrate to the international community the successful evolution of the OSCE "from Helsinki to Astana". 

I should like to underscore in particular the significance of the forthcoming forum for Kazakhstan. The fact that one of the major political events in international life is to be held in Astana will not only increase the authority of our country in the world. The Astana Summit will also impart a fresh impetus to the socio-economic and democratic development of Kazakhstan and will further strengthen the unity and patriotism of the people of Kazakhstan. 

The holding of the OSCE Summit - the first international forum of this scale in the entire post-Soviet area - is not only a great honour but also a major responsibility. 

It is now important to ensure its preparation and conduct at a highly organized level. We have a unique chance to demonstrate the main values of our society - tolerance, respect for traditions, trust and mutual understanding." 

The decision, adopted by Foreign Ministers from the 56 OSCE participating States through a silence procedure, which allows them to take decisions without meeting physically, came in the week following the 35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, which created the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe - the OSCE's predecessor. 

The decision also says that the Review Conference will be held in Warsaw, Vienna and Astana in September-November ahead of the Astana Summit, which will be the seventh in the Organization's history. Previous summits were held 1975 in Helsinki, 1990 in Paris, 1992 in Helsinki, 1994 in Budapest, 1996 in Lisbon and 1999 in Istanbul.

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