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Major security operation under way as OSCE conference to see Clinton visit capital


Dignitaries including US secretary of state Hillary Clinton are set to arrive in Dublin next week

Dignitaries including US secretary of state Hillary Clinton are set to arrive in Dublin next week

Dignitaries including US secretary of state Hillary Clinton are set to arrive in Dublin next week

A MAJOR security operation is under way ahead of a two-day conference that will attract some of the world's most powerful politicians.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will be among 50 dignitaries jetting in to Dublin next week.

The members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will discuss several key topics in the RDS on Thursday, December 6 and Friday December 7.

It is believed Mrs Clinton will also attend events in Belfast the day before.

Gardai warned a security operation will begin from 6am on Monday with no parking in or around the Simmonscourt Complex in south Dublin.

Superintendent Barry O'Brien said while the Garda presence will not be as visible as last year's high-profile visits from US President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth, there will be disruptions.

"There will be an extensive number of garda personal from the south central division at the event site," he said.

"Our Special Detective Unit will be extensively involved, the Emergency Response Unit, our operational support unit in terms of dog unit and air support, assisting both in the planning of the operation and then on the day of the events itself."

Supt O'Brien said legitimate protesters will be accommodated.

"If some people choose to break the criminal law we will deal with those as appropriate," he added.

Despite road disruptions until Saturday December 8, gardai maintain Dublin - and the National Crafts and Design Fair in the RDS - will be open for business.

Local residents will only get access to their homes when they show a recent utility bill or official identification.

Security will also be stepped up at hotels across the capital as the VIPs check-in.

Supt O`Brien said: "I would advise people to use public transport.

"If you are travelling through this area expect delays so give yourselves plenty of time."

The OSCE Ministerial Council is the largest international meeting organised in Ireland and is the culmination of the country's year-long chairmanship of the body.

Hosted by Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore it will cost more than three million euro to stage - excluding Garda costs - but organisers estimate it will boost Dublin's economy by 2.35 million euro.

More than 1,500 delegates from over 70 countries and international organisations will participate, including Foreign Ministers from around the world.

The RDS is being transformed in to a state of the art conference centre, with more than 250 temporary offices.

Key topics to be discussed include freedom of the media, tackling racism and xenophobia, good governance, trans-national threats and Helsinki +40, which offers ministers the opportunity to adopt a more forward-looking and strategic approach for the OSCE ahead of its 40th anniversary in 2015.

PA Media