US backs Frenchman for top OSCE post

8th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

SOFIA, Dec 7 (AFP) - Frenchman Marc Perrin de Brichambaut has the support of the United States to become the next secretary general of the OSCE, the US ambassador to the 55-member international security body said Tuesday.

SOFIA, Dec 7 (AFP) - Frenchman Marc Perrin de Brichambaut has the support of the United States to become the next secretary general of the OSCE, the US ambassador to the 55-member international security body said Tuesday.

"There are several excellent candidates (but) we are hopeful that Mr. Perrin de Brichambaut will be successful," Stephan Minikes said.

The French candidate, a jurist and international expert on questions of security, is considered the front-runner to replace Kubis, who is to step down by June 2005, but the decision must be reached by consensus and can take time, diplomats said.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier officially presented Perrin de Brichambaut's candidacy to replace the outgoing OSCE chief, Jan Kubis, on Monday.

Two other candidates are in the running, Gerard Stoudmann of Switzerland and Albanian Zef Mazi.

Currently Austria backs the candidacy of Stoudmann, who headed the OSCE's human rights office in Warsaw, which is in charge of election observer missions.

Kubis is taking part in international mediation efforts in the Ukrainian crisis alongside the European Union, Poland and Lithuania.

On Tuesday the 55 members of the OSCE ministerial council decided to increase the relatively weak prerogatives of the secretary general.

The body's rotating presidency changes each year. After Bulgaria in 2004, Slovenia takes up the presidency next year, and Spain in 2006.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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