US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be among 50 dignitaries jetting in to Dublin this week. Clinton is scheduled to participate in the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Dublin on Thursday, December 6 and Friday December 7. Clinton is also scheduled to attend events in Belfast the day before.
Already a major security operation is underway in preparation. Irish police have warned that there will be no parking in or around the the OSCE venue, located at the RDS in south Dublin, from 6 AM on Thursday morning.
Superintendent Barry O'Brien told the Associated Press that although the Irish police presence will not be as visible as during last year's visits from US President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth, there will be significant disruptions.
'There will be an extensive number of Garda (police) 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.'
Local residents will reportedly only get access to their homes when they produce a recent utility bill or official identification. Security levels will also increase at Dublin hotels as the international VIPs check-in.
The OSCE Ministerial Council is the culmination of the country's year-long chairmanship of the body. Hosted by Irish Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore it will cost more than $3.5 million to stage but organisers claim it will boost Dublin's economy by $3.7 million.
After the conference Clinton is reportedly scheduled to deliver an address on human rights at Dublin City University (DCU) on Thursday. In a major coup for the university, Clinton will deliver the speech in the early afternoon on Thursday as part of her visit to Ireland.
The two-day meetings will see some 50 foreign ministers visiting the capital with Deputy Minister Gilmore set to hold bilateral talks with Clinton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Clinton confirmed her European trip last week and will also travel to Prague, Brussels and Belfast during her five-day stay. In Dublin, she will meet with Irish officials to discuss areas of cooperation in promoting peace, human rights, and economic growth.
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