Wednesday, March 18, 2009

OSCE mission work in Georgia is crucial: OSCE chairperson

In this time of crisis, the OSCE mission's work in Georgia is crucial, OSCE press release quoted OSCE chairperson Dora Bakoyannis as saying.

"In this time of crisis, the Mission's work to promote stability in the region is more crucial than ever," Greek Foreign Minister Bakoyannis said at the end of the EU and OSCE Troika meeting in Brussels on March 16.

""It is unfortunate that the OSCE Mission to Georgia finds itself in a process of discontinuation because of a lack of consensus on an extension of its mandate," she said. "Greek Chairmanship is intensively negotiating in an attempt to find consensus for a continued OSCE presence in Georgia."

As many as 20 military observers from the OSCE monitor situation in the Caucasus in Georgian regions which border on South Ossetia. OSCE mission mandate in Georgia expired in January. The mission is going to leave the country soon. Russia did not agree to extend mandate of the OSCE mission in Georgia at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on Dec. 22, 2008 supposing that current mandate of the Georgian mission include Abkhazian and South Ossetian components and therefore its should be reviewed.

The Chairperson also welcomed progress achieved so far in the Geneva discussions on Georgia - which are co-chaired by the OSCE, the EU and the United Nations - and said she hoped those talks would continue to yield results.

The Geneva talks which brought together representatives from OSCE, EU and the United Nations aims to eliminate consequences of the Georgia-Russia conflict.

A military clash took place in South Ossetia in August 2008 as Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia. Russia backed separatist regions and established diplomatic relations with them.

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