On July 21, 2006, Louis O’Neill was appointed as Ambassador and Head of Mission of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. In that capacity he served as chief executive, political and administrative officer for a three-office (Chisinau, Tiraspol, Bendery) 60-person diplomatic Mission charged with negotiations on resolving the Transnistrian conflict, reuniting the Republic of Moldova, facilitating the withdrawal of Russian troops and munitions, developing democratic standards and the rule of law, human rights, freedom of the media, and combating trafficking in human beings.


OSCE Moldova Mission awards photo contest winners

CHISINAU, 14 December 2007 - The winners of the photo contest “Imaging Moldova - Diversity and Identity,” organized by the OSCE Mission to Moldova, were announced in Chisinau today, with the first prize awarded to Iurie Foca.



“Satencele” (Village Women), a photo by Iurie Foca, was selected in December 2007 by an independent jury as the winner of the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest “Imaging Moldova - Diversity and Identity.” (Iurie Foca)

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OSCE Moldova Mission hosts press conference to launch campaign against gender violence

CHISINAU, 23 November 2007 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova is hosting a press conference on Monday to announce the launch of the annual “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” campaign. This year's campaign has the theme “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles: End Violence Against Women.”



With the support of the Mission to Moldova, the NGO “La Strada” provides victims of trafficking with emergency assistance. Here, a poster for the hotline. (OSCE)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_28254.html

OSCE Mission announces Moldova photo contest

CHISINAU, 15 November 2007 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova announced today a photo contest aimed at exploring the diversity, traditions and modern developments of life in Moldova. Ambassador Louis O'Neill, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, invited professional and amateur photographers in the country to take part in the contest, which has the theme “Imaging Moldova - Diversity and Identity.”



“Curiosity” by Anatolie Poiata, Miclesti (Orhei district), Moldova, April 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Anatolie Poiata)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_27960.html

OSCE Mission to Moldova organizes seminar on confidence- and security-building measures

CHISINAU, 22 October 2007 - A high-level seminar on confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs), organized by the OSCE Mission to Moldova, began today in the Ukrainian city of Odessa. The event brings together the chief negotiators and high-ranking military experts from the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian region as well from the OSCE, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, the United States and the European Union. “I am certain that this seminar will help illustrate the importance of confidence- and security-building measures to all sides, and how they can be used to diffuse tensions and build trust,” said Ambassador Louis O'Neill, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, in a speech at the start of the seminar. “These two days are an opportunity for all of us to learn lessons from other regions on how to improve the situation that we face in our area.”



Part of the OSCE Mission to Moldova’s mandate involves providing information on the military situation in the area. (OSCE)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_27473.html

ODIHR launches project on monitoring freedom of assembly in Moldova

CHISINAU, 19 October 2007 - A five-day training course for human rights defenders, organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), ended in Chisinau today. The course, part of a project on monitoring freedom of assembly in Moldova, focused on providing an impartial and objective account of such events.



“Meeting” by Egor Tetiushev, Chisinau, October 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Egor Tetiushev)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_27429.html

Transnistrian settlement mediators and observers welcome initiatives of sides in socio-economic area and freedom of movement

MADRID, 16 October 2007 - The mediators and observers in the Transnistrian settlement process welcomed the recent initiatives of the Government of the Republic of Moldova to address common problems in the socio-economic area. They also commended Chisinau’s extension of the registration regime for Transnistrian enterprises until 31 December 2008. Additionally, the mediators and observers praised the decision of the leadership in Transnistria to remove both the 100% duty on certain goods coming into the region from the right bank, and the “migration tax.” They called for the removal of non-peacekeeping posts of the sides in the Security Zone to further promote freedom of movement.



A map of Moldova, where the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the OSCE are mediating to try and find a settlement over Transnistria. (OSCE)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_27372.html

OSCE Mission supports Moldova to improve safe storage of stockpile ammunition, small arms

CHISINAU, 24 September 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova today called on the Moldovan authorities to improve storage conditions for stockpile ammunition and said the OSCE is ready to help the country do so. “Proper and secure management of ammunition storages in Moldova is our common goal - it would make Moldova a safer place and set a good example for the region,” said Ambassador Louis O’Neill.



“Locked up” by Irina Burlacu, Chisinau, April 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Irina Burlacu)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_26398.html

OSCE-supported rock festival helps build cultural bridge over Nistru river

“Music for Peace” was the motto of the “Vadul lui Woodstock” rock festival, in which 22 bands gathered at Vadul lui Voda resort near Chisinau on 11 August. Groups from both banks of the Nistru river performed, including five from the Transnistrian region, in this second annual non-commercial open-air festival sponsored by the OSCE Mission to Moldova. The festival aims at promoting cultural ties between Moldova and its breakaway Transnistrian region. “The OSCE Mission is particularly sensitive to initiatives that use cultural tools to establish connections between Moldova's citizens - that's why we’ve supported this festival for the last two years,” said Ambassador Louis O’Neill, Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova. “Another of these tools is a joint exhibition of three painters from Transnistria, which we are currently hosting on the Mission premises, as part of our ongoing exhibitions that feature Moldovan artists.”



The OSCE Mission to Moldova supported the open-air Vadul lui Woodstock rock festival, which brought together musicians and fans from both sides of the Nistru river at the resort of Vadul lui Voda near Chisinau, 11 August 2007. (OSCE/Iulia Kirnitki)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_2_25948.html

New Moldovan anti-torture body needs to be independent and effective, OSCE Mission Head says

CHISINAU, 19 July 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, today urged Moldovan legislators to ensure that a mechanism they plan to create that aims to prevent torture is effective and becomes a significant part of the country’s fight against torture and inhuman treatment.



“The Shadow” by Nicolai Nedov, Chisinau, August 2006. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Nicolai Nedov)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_25689.html

Moldova OSCE Mission Head condemns forced closure of Corjova polling station

CHISINAU, 18 June 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, said today the closure of a polling station during the Moldovan local elections by Transnistrian law enforcement bodies was unacceptable. Early on 17 June, some 30 Transnistrian militiamen forced their way into Polling Station 15/3 in Corjova (Dubasari) and closed it down. “Closing down a polling station by force is unacceptable,” said Ambassador O’Neill.



Moldovan police and Transnistrian militia dispute access to the territory of a polling station during the June 2007 local elections in Corjova. (OSCE/Matti Sidoroff)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_25174.html

International standards unevenly implemented during local elections in Moldova

CHISINAU, 4 June 2007 - An international election observation mission monitoring the local elections in Moldova on 3 June noted that voters were given a genuine choice and that the elections were generally well administered. Other aspects of the electoral process, however, fell short of some international commitments on democratic elections.



Voters study their ballot papers for the 3 June 2007 local elections in Moldova. (OSCE/Curtis Budden)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_24816.html

OSCE holds seminar on libel and defamation for Moldovan judges

CHISINAU, 23 April 2007 - Twenty Moldovan judges are taking part in an OSCE-organized seminar on libel and defamation cases that began in Chisinau today. Ambassador Louis O’Neill, the Head of the OSCE Mission, who spoke at the opening, added: “The goal of the seminar is to offer judges a better understanding of how to interpret the libel stipulations of the Moldovan Civil Code in concordance with the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights.”



“Re(forms)” by Octav Esinencu, Bravicea (Calarasi district), Moldova, June 2006. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Octav Esinencu)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_24098.html

OSCE launches trial monitoring report in Moldova

CHISINAU, 18 April 2007 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova in co-operation with the Superior Council of Magistrates will launch the first report of the OSCE Trial Monitoring Programme for the Republic of Moldova tomorrow.



“The Window to Europe” by Octav Esinencu, Varatic (Riscani district), Moldova, April 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Octav Esinencu)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_24062.html

OSCE Mission Head concerned over repeated restrictions on media freedom in Moldova

CHISINAU, 28 March 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, expressed his deep concern today over renewed restrictions of freedom of the media and freedom of assembly in Moldova. ”Freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the media are fundamental to a functioning democracy. Any limitations on these rights in a democratic society should be clearly prescribed by law,” said Ambassador O'Neill.



Readers in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, can also find their dailies on the street. (OSCE/Ayhan Evrensel)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23833.html

OSCE Moldova Mission and Defense Ministry to destroy surplus weapons

CHISINAU, 22 March 2007 - More than 11,000 artillery shells, 377 anti-tank guided missiles and almost half a million rounds of ammunition will be destroyed thanks to a project agreed on today by the Moldovan Defense Ministry and the OSCE Mission to Moldova. “This unilateral destruction of surplus and outdated ammunition from the Moldovan army's inventory represents a major contribution to regional stability,” said Ambassador Louis O’Neill, Head of the OSCE Mission.



“Hands of a Soldier” by Alexander Bostan, Chisinau, May 2006. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Alexander Bostan)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23757.html

OSCE Mission Head concerned about actions taken against Moldovan opposition parties

CHISINAU, 12 March 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, called today on Moldovan authorities to ensure equal conditions for the activities of political parties before the local elections expected to be held in June. ”I am deeply concerned that the impediments opposition parties seem to face may have serious implications for their ability to engage in political activities, including preparations for this years local elections,” said Ambassador O’Neill after a meeting with the Chairpersons of six opposition parties.



“Point of View” by Roman Baryshev, Chisinau, May 2005. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Roman Baryshev)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23609.html

Moldova’s broadcasting reforms cause for concern, OSCE Mission Head says

CHISINAU, 19 February 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, said today he was very concerned about recent negative developments in Moldova’s broadcasting landscape. “The broadcasting code adopted by the Moldovan Parliament in 2006 provided the country with an excellent opportunity for real progress in creating a free and vibrant broadcasting landscape. It is disappointing to see that this chance may be lost due to missteps in the way the new legislation is being implemented,” Ambassador O’Neill said.



Ambassador Louis F. O’Neill took office as Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova on 21 July 2006. (OSCE/Claus Neukirch)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23339.html

Head of OSCE Mission to Moldova regrets lack of consensus on holding Transnistrian settlement talks planned for this week

CHISINAU, 14 February 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, said today he was disappointed about the lack of consensus among the parties involved in the Transnistrian settlement process on going ahead with the settlement talks proposed to start tomorrow in Chisinau.



“The Procession” by Valerie Volontir, Varzaresti (Nisporeni district), Moldova, 2000. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Valerie Volontir)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23304.html

OSCE Mission to host presentation of catalogue of NGOs active in Transnistria

CHISINAU, 13 February 2007 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova will host tomorrow the presentation of the Catalogue of Non-Governmental Organizations in Transnistria-2007, a survey conducted by the NGO Centre for Support and Development of Civic Initiatives “Resonance.”



The OSCE office in Tiraspol, Transnistria, 2006. (OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23267.html

OSCE Mission to Moldova donates laundry machines to prison in Tiraspol

CHISINAU, 9 February 2007 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova today donated two industrial washing machines and two industrial dryers to Prison Number 3 in Tiraspol, the only penitentiary in the region where women are detained. ”This equipment will significantly improve hygienic and sanitary conditions for inmates, and help fight the spread of infectious diseases. We mustn't forget that children are growing up here,” said Ambassador Louis O’Neill, the Head of the OSCE Mission.



Ambassador Louis O’Neill (left), Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, visits a penitentiary in Tiraspol, 9 February 2007. Some of the 190 women serving their sentences there are raising children on the prison's premises. (OSCE/Iulia Kirnitki)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_23250.html

OSCE Mission Head expresses deep concern about disruption of Chisinau radio station's broadcasting

CHISINAU, 18 December - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, said today he was worried about the recent disruption of broadcasting at the Chisinau radio station Antena-C. “We are extremely concerned about the interruption of Antena-C’s broadcasting signal, which deprives people in Chisinau and in large parts of Moldova of an important alternative source of information and analysis,” O’Neill said.



Ambassador Louis O’Neill, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova is concerned about the reduction in news and information programming at the Chisinau radio station Antena-C following the station's privatization. (OSCE/Claus Neukirch)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22758.html

OSCE Mission says Gagauz elections held in calm and orderly manner

CHISINAU, 18 December - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, said today that Sunday's second round of elections for the Bashkan (Governor) of Gagauzia was held in a generally calm and orderly manner. ”We commend the Gagauz electoral authorities for a good administration of the second round of elections and making sure they were held in a calm and orderly manner,” said Ambassador O’Neill.



Not being able to walk from the car to the polling station, a handicapped man casts his vote during the 17 December 2006 elections of the Bashkan (Governor) in Moldova’s autonomous Gagauz region. (OSCE/Claus Neukirch)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22745.html

Joint Statement on the First and Second Rounds of Bashkan elections in the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia within the Republic of Moldova

CHISINAU, 7 December 2006 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova issued the following joint statement today: “We welcome the commitments made by the Government of Moldova and local authorities in Gagauzia that the December 3, 2006, elections and any possible run-off elections for Gagauz Governor (Bashkan) be held in accordance with international standards for democratic elections. In our judgment, the first round of voting was generally conducted in an orderly manner and was a clear improvement in comparison with earlier elections in Gagauzia…”



“Red Rosa” by Dorin Musteata-Nicolaescu, Chisinau, November 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Dorin Musteata-Nicolaescu)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22610.html

OSCE Moldova Mission: Elections for Gagauz Bashkan (Governor) improved, but unequal conditions mar campaign

CHISINAU, 4 December 2006 - Ambassador Louis O’Neill, the Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova said today that the 3 December elections for the Bashkan (Governor) of Gagauzia were held in a generally calm manner and that voting procedures improved in comparison with earlier elections, but regrets that the candidates did not enjoy equal campaign conditions. ”We commend the Gagauz electoral authorities for the improvements in the administration of these elections,” Ambassador O’Neill said. “We are concerned, however, about the uneven playing field for candidates during the election campaign.”



Voters in Moldova’s autonomous Gagauz region cast their ballots during the 3 December 2006 elections of a new Bashkan (Governor). (OSCE/Claus Neukirch)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22400.html

Joint Statement on Bashkan elections in autonomous territorial unit of Gagauzia within the Republic of Moldova

CHISINAU, 28 November 2006 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova issued the following joint statement today: ”We welcome the public commitments made by the Government of Moldova and local authorities in Gagauzia that the December 3 elections and any possible run-off elections for Gagauz Governor (Bashkan) be held in a free, fair and transparent manner…”



Children in the Gagauz region of Moldova. The OSCE’s international staff has been in Moldova since 1993. (OSCE/ Neil Brennan)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22251.html

Ribnitsa authorities must return confiscated school building, says OSCE Mission Head

CHISINAU, 24 November 2006 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, has urged local authorities in the Transnistrian city of Ribnitsa to return a confiscated building to the Moldovan Latin-script school located in the city. ”This building was constructed for the pupils of the Moldovan Lyceum Evrica. It belongs to them and should be returned to the school without further delay,” said Ambassador O’Neill during a visit to the school today.



Moldovan schools teaching the state language in Latin script in the breakaway region of Transnistria are under constant pressure by the separatist authorities. (OSCE/Walter Kemp)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22208.html

OSCE Mission to hold news conference to announce campaign against gender violence in Moldova

CHISINAU, 22 November 2006 - The annual campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence” will be launched tomorrow at a news conference hosted by the OSCE Mission to Moldova. This year, the campaign will run under the motto ‘Celebrate 16 Years of 16 Days: Advance Human Rights - End Violence Against Women.’ These international campaigns have been taking place since 1991 between 25 November, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and 10 December, International Human Rights Day. They aim to show that violence against women is a violation of human rights. In Moldova such campaigns have been conducted since 2000.



“The Mistress of the House” by Iurie Foca, Hancesti district, Moldova, 2003. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Iurie Foca)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22176.html

OSCE Mission to Moldova to co-organize conference on torture prevention

CHISINAU, 16 November 2006 - The OSCE Mission to Moldova together with the Institute for Penal Reform and Amnesty International Moldova will organize a conference on torture prevention in Chisinau on 17 and 18 November. The event will focus on a national strategy for implementing the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which was recently ratified by Moldova.



“The People’s Bell-Ringing” by Vladimir Tkhorik, Chisinau, 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Vladimir Tkhorik)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22094.html

OSCE diplomats visit Russian military depot in Transnistria

CHISINAU, 13 November 2006 - A group of more than 30 Ambassadors, Heads of Delegations to the OSCE, visited a Russian ammunition depot in Moldova’s breakaway Transnistrian region today. The visit was welcomed by the Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht. It was the first time since March 2004 that OSCE officials gained access to the Kolbasna site. The gesture was appreciated by the Chairman-in-Office as an important confidence-building measure.



A Russian peacekeeper stands on guard in a unit stationed in the city of Bendery in Transnistria. (OSCE/Mikhail Evstafiev)

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http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22051.html

More than 30 high-level OSCE diplomats to visit Moldova

CHISINAU, 9 November 2006 - A group of high-ranking OSCE diplomats will visit Moldova from 10 to 13 November. The group comprises more than 30 Heads of Delegations to the OSCE, including the Ambassadors of the Belgian OSCE Chairmanship, the Finnish European Union Presidency, the Russian Federation and the United States. They will come on the invitation of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry. The OSCE Mission to Moldova will be coordinating the visit.



The mandate of the OSCE Mission to Moldova involves providing information tensions in the Security Zone. (OSCE)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22025.html

New website coordinating anti-trafficking activities in Moldova launched

CHISINAU, 8 November 2006 - A new website designed to improve coordination among anti-trafficking actors has been launched today by the OSCE Mission to Moldova and the New Perspectives for Women anti-trafficking project. The website, called the Moldova Anti-Trafficking and Gender Network, is accessible online at www.atnet.md as of today in English, Romanian and Russian.



“Hope for a Better Life” by Natalia Manzararu, Sloveanca (Sangerei district), Moldova, June 2007. Chosen as one of the best 50 photos in the OSCE Mission to Moldova photo contest. (Natalia Manzararu)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_22002.html

OSCE Moldova Mission calls for fair and equal campaigning in Gagauz elections

CHISINAU, 27 October 2006 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill called today on central and regional authorities to ensure fair and equal campaign conditions for the 3 December elections for the Bashkan (Governor) of the autonomous Gagauz region in southern Moldova. “These elections are a test case not only for Gagauzia, but for Moldova as a whole,” Ambassador O’Neill said upon return from a fact-finding trip to the region.



Waitresses at a small restaurant in the Gagauz region of Moldova take a break. (OSCE/Neil Brennan)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_21872.html

OSCE Mission to Moldova issues statement on explosion in Tiraspol

CHISINAU, 14 August 2006 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, today issued the following statement: “The explosion yesterday in Tiraspol has shocked all of us in the OSCE Mission to Moldova and we are saddened by this tragic loss of life. On behalf of our entire Mission, I offer our condolences and deepest sympathy to the families, friends and colleagues of the victims. We also wish a speedy and full recovery to those injured by this incomprehensible act.”



Staff of the OSCE Mission to Moldova outside their headquarters in Chisinau, August 2007. (OSCE)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_20115.html

New OSCE Moldovan Mission Head commends destruction of offensive weaponry - urges Transnistria to copy

CHISINAU, 25 July 2006 - The new Head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Ambassador Louis O’Neill, called today on the Transnistrian authorities to follow the latest Moldovan example and to cut its military capacity. He made his statement today at Bulboaca, the Instruction Centre of the Moldovan Armed Forces near Chisinau, after witnessing the destruction of their last Uragan 220 millimeter rockets.* “This is a compelling signal of confidence-building on behalf of the Moldovan Government,” he said. “It sends a clear message to the Transnistrian authorities that there is no aggressive intent on the part of Chisinau.” “I therefore call on the Transnistrian authorities to likewise cut their military capability. There is no need and no place for heavy and offensive military equipment in this region,” Ambassador O’Neill added.



Moldova’s last three 220mm rockets for the Uragan multiple launch rocket system are prepared for destruction at the Instruction Centre of the Moldovan Armed Forces in Bulboaca, 25 July 2006. (OSCE/Claus Neukirch)

Full Text:
http://www.osce.org/moldova/item_1_19994.html

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