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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
June 22, 2009


Assistant Senate Majority Leader Durbin to Join 13-Member Delegation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania and Belarus to Push Agenda of Security, Human Rights and International Cooperation

WASHINGTON--Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), will lead a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania and Belarus June 26 to July 3, 2009.

The delegation will hold a series of meetings with government leaders and civil society representatives in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – focusing on international cooperation and supporting the reforms needed to allow Bosnia to join the European Union.

The stop in Minsk, Belarus, will mark the highest level Congressional delegation to Belarus in more than a decade.

The delegation will attend the 18th Annual Session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Vilnius, focusing on the theme ‘The OSCE: Addressing New Security Challenges.’ Members will debate and vote on a range of issues including security in Afghanistan, the economic crisis, climate change, energy, water, and human rights and democratic development. The resolutions passed become the final Vilnius Declaration – helping to steer the direction of the OSCE.

The U.S. delegation includes:

Helsinki Commission Chairman Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD),
Commission Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL),
Commission Ranking Minority Member Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ),
Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL),
Commissioner Senator Roger F. Wicker (R-MS),
Senator George Voinovich (R-OH),
Commissioner Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY),
Commissioner Representative Mike McIntyre (D-NC),
Commissioner Representative G.K. Butterfield (D-NC),
Commissioner Representative Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL),
Commissioner Representative Darrell E. Issa (R-CA),
Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX),
Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI).



The Parliamentary Assembly is open to the public. Other press opportunities will be announced at a later date. The delegation plans to hold the following news conferences:

Times and locations subject to change. ALL TIMES LOCAL

News Conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

WHEN: 3:30 PM, Sunday June 28

WHERE:  Hotel Europe
                 Vladislava Skari?a 5, 71000 Sarajevo, BiH

News Conference in Minsk, Belarus

WHEN: 2:30 PM, Tuesday, June 30

WHERE: U.S. Embassy – Minsk 
                Starovilenskaya 46, Minsk, Belarus

News Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania at OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

WHEN: 11 AM, Wednesday, July 1

WHERE:  Seimas (Parliament) Building
                Gedimino Ave. 53, Vilnius, Lithuania

For each event please RSVP to: Neil Simon, +1 202-340-7450 (mobile),

Media Contact: Neil Simon
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