Kazakhstan to host OSCE Summit

    Kazakhstan will hold an OSCE summit in Astana this fall, the 56 members of the organization decided over the weekend.
    Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev made the announcement Saturday at the end of a two-day meeting of OSCE foreign ministers in Almaty.
    The tentative summit dates are October 29 and 30.
    Saudabayev had lobbied for months for a summit, which President Nursultan Nazarbayev had called for since last year. The last summit of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe was 11 years ago in Istanbul.
    The summit agenda is almost certain to include the situation in Afghanistan and changing the OSCE’s security apparatus so the organization can respond better to crises.
    Other summit topics may include rebuilding Kyrgyzstan, dealing with trafficking in drugs and human beings and trying to prevent organized-crime gangs from operating across borders.
    The OSCE was born out of the Cold War in the early 1970s to counter the Soviet threat.
    Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the threat has changed to include terrorism and religious- and ethnic-based conflicts.
    In fact, Kazakhstan, Russia and many other former countries in the former U.S.S.R. are now OSCE members.
    Kazakhstan became the first former Soviet country to chair the organization this year, the Focus business newspaper reports.