Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Georgia-Russia:PACE President welcomes dialogue instituted between delegations of the two countries

At the close of a meeting of the Ad hoc Committee of the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Valencia (Spain) on March 30, its President, LluĂ­s Maria de Puig, welcomed the dialogue that had been instituted between the Georgian and Russian delegations.

"Today we have succeeded in bringing representatives of the Georgian and Russian delegations together round a table. To me, their participation is a sign that they are in favour of the principle of dialogue and believe that our Assembly can play a positive and constructive role in this respect," he said.

"Despite the substantive differences that persist between the two delegations, which were again set forth at the meeting, we discussed drawing up a road map and a list of priority issues acceptable to both delegations. In particular, we agreed that the well-being of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian communities should be at the heart of our discussions.

This means preventing their becoming isolated, taking confidence-building steps and tackling such issues as free access to these territories for NGOs, the distribution of humanitarian aid and assistance with reconstruction. We therefore decided to involve representatives of the Abkhaz and South Ossetian communities in our next meeting, which will take place in Strasbourg on the occasion of the spring Session from 27 to 30 April," added Mr de Puig.

"The meeting follows on from the so-called 'parliamentary diplomacy' efforts of PACE Any agreement - even on an initial detail - is a big step forward that makes it possible to create new opportunities and establish momentum in favour of dialogue," he concluded.


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