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British official: Moldova part of Europe and its frozen conflict needs to be solved


21 September 2010

A British official said Tuesday that Moldova — a former Soviet republic struggling over whether to tilt toward Russia or the West — is part of the European family, where democratic values, tolerance, human rights are the norm.

Moldova’s governing pro-European alliance is locked in a power struggle with pro-Russian Communists. Because of the deadlock, the country’s parliament has been unable to elect a president. Voters will go to the polls in again in November — for the third Parliamentary in about a year and a half.

Early this month, a referendum that would have provided for presidents elected by popular vote rather than by the parliament failed, even though 87 per cent of those voting favoured the chance. One-third of the eligible voters needed to cast ballots for the referendum to be valid. But, in the face of a Communist-led boycott, turnout was just 30 per cent.

Still, British minister for Europe David Lidington, who took in office in May with the new British government, said Tuesday that Moldova had made progress toward democratic reform over the past year.

Lidington, spoke to reporters in Bucharest, the capital of neighbouring Romania, along with German Deputy Foreign Minister Werner Hoyer, where they discussed Moldova’s future, along with the “frozen conflict” in the country’s separatist Trans-Dniester region.

The region is not internationally recognized but it is supported by Russia, which still stations 1,500 troops there. In 1992, about 2,000 people were killed in a war between the separatists and the Moldovan government.

Hoyer said the Trans-Dniester conflict needed to be solved “not against, but with Russia.” 

The Associated Press

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21/09/2010 - Posted by | DIVERSE

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