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In The Loop
Posted at 06:44 PM ET, 06/21/2012

Congressional trip to Monaco? Not happening

(Courtesy of Monaco Press Centre Photos)
Forget about signing up to attend that annual meeting in Monaco in July of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

We had written last week that Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), as the OSCE special rep on human trafficking, had hoped to go to introduce a resolution against it at the meeting. But he called Thursday to say he’s not leading a congressional delegation (codel) to Monaco.

Smith said he had opposed having the meeting there— “I couldn’t believe they picked Monaco”as the site — but he was told the pricey gambling mecca on the Riviera would produce “the biggest turnout ever” of participants.

No doubt.

“I was caught between a rock and a hard place,” he said, but he finally decided against going the weekend before last — just before he left on a trip to Bolivia to visit Jacob Ostreicher, a Brooklyn, N.Y. businessman imprisoned for nearly a year without charges on suspicion of money laundering. Smith met with him and with Bolivian officials to urge them to release Ostreicher.

As for the anti-trafficking resolution, Smith said he would ask someone else to introduce it.

By  |  06:44 PM ET, 06/21/2012

Tags:  Monaco, Monte Carlo, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, OSCE, Bolivia, Jacob Ostreicher, Chris Smith, human trafficking, Al Kamen, Emily Heil, In the Loop

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