Technical personnel at the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) office began work on Monday January 13 in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. As a representative of OSCE programmes in Belarus Dmitrii Aleshkevich told journalists, there are currently only Belarus OSCE staff working at the office. The arrival of foreign OSCE staff is expected on February 3.
The OSCE human resources department has organised a competition for the four full-time positions at the Minsk office and the deadline for applications is January 21. The competition will decide who the foreign staff of the Minsk office will be. The positions include deputy manager, specialist in administration and finance and experts in economics, ecology, democratization, and human rights.
According to the Belarussian Foreign Ministry these employees will not have diplomatic status and therefore they will not require Belarus' approval. The only approval needed will be that of the head of the OSCE office in Minsk. It is expected that the chairman of the OSCE will nominate German diplomat Eberhard Haiken for this position.
Belarus and the OSCE agreed to open an office in Minsk on December 30 2002.
Two ballistic missiles attacked the US Navy destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) from the territory of Yemen. The destroyer came to the aid of the hijacked Central Park tanker of Zodiac Maritime