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Helsinki Commission to Host Mediterranean Forum

WASHINGTON—Fifty diplomats and parliamentarians from across the Middle East and Northern Africa will come together at the U.S. Capitol July 22 and 23 for a seminar organized by the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission).

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) will open the event in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.

Leading parliamentarians are expected from Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia – all countries which are Partners for Cooperation in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Chairman Cardin is a Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Co-Chairman Hastings serves as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on Mediterranean Affairs.

The two-day event will include seminars on current Mediterranean issues, a panel focused on security, a meeting on the current Mediterranean Partner relationship with the OSCE, and a public hearing on the future of the partnership, with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship between the countries and the OSCE.

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

Seminar on OSCE Mediterranean Partner Engagement

***Media Schedule***

Wednesday, July 22

Opening Session 1:15 p.m. – 2:00 pm (OPEN PRESS)
Capitol Visitor Center HVC 200

Speakers:
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman of the Helsinki Commission
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, Co-Chairman of the Helsinki Commission
Hon. João Soares, (Portugal) President of the OSCE PA
Hon. Jerry Grafstein, (Canada), Vice President of the OSCE PA

Thursday, July 23

Debate and Concluding Session on Current Issues in the Mediterranean and OSCE Region

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (OPEN PRESS)
Capitol Visitor Center HVC 200

Hearing: “The Future of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation”

2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (OPEN PUBLIC/PRESS)
Cannon House Office Building, Room 210

Witnesses:

Ambassador William Hudson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs
Mr. Sotiris Roussos, OSCE Personal Representative on Mediterranean Partner Affairs
Hon. João Soares, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

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