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Minister Creighton to visit Moldova and Bulgaria

The Minister for European Affairs, Lucinda Creighton, representing the Irish Chairmanship of the OSCE, will visit Moldova from 19 to 21 September to discuss the OSCE’s (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) engagement with the country. In advance of her visit Minister Creighton said:

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to discuss the Transdniestrian settlement    process, which Ireland is currently chairing, in our capacity as Chair-in-Office of the OSCE. Making progress on the protracted conflicts is a priority of our term as Chair-in-Office and I hope that my visit will encourage both sides to maintain recent momentum.”

On Thursday Minister Creighton will meet with Moldova’s President Nicolae Timofti, Prime Minister Vlad Filat, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration Eugene Carpov and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca. On the same day, Minister Creighton will travel to Tiraspol to meet with Transdniestrian chief negotiator Nina Shtanski.

In view of Ireland’s upcoming EU Presidency, Minister Creighton will also avail of the opportunity to discuss Moldova’s European Integration Process.

On Friday, 21 Minister of State Creighton will visit Sofia for a meeting with the Bulgarian Deputy Minister for special responsibility for EU affairs, Ivan Naydenov to discuss the programme for Irish EU Presidency from January 2013.

Note for editors:

The Transdniestrian conflict dates back to 1990 when separatists declared the region independent from Moldova.  In spring 1992 the conflict between the Transdniestrian authorities and the central government in Chisinau escalated, resulting in several hundred casualties and more than 100,000 refugees.  A ceasefire was agreed in July 1992 and the parties committed themselves to negotiate a settlement to the conflict.  Most of the refugees returned home.  Since 1993, the OSCE has supported efforts to find a comprehensive, durable and peaceful solution to the conflict.  The talks on a settlement comprised the sides to the conflict - Moldova and Transdniestria and the OSCE, Russian Federation and Ukraine as mediators.  In 2005 the EU and USA joined the process as observers and the format became known as the “5+2”.  The official “5+2” negotiations were suspended in February 2006, and were resumed only in November 2011. Under Ireland's Chairmanship in 2012, three meetings have taken place to date and some progress has been achieved.