Tbilisi, Georgia, Jan. 23
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
EU representative at the Geneva talks Philippe Lefort said he did not give interviews to anyone in Tskhinvali.
"I said goodbye to the negotiators," he said. "I was in Tskhinvali, but did not give interviews to anyone. This statement is not my position."
"The EU has a position based on the territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders," he said.
"This is an unshakable position of the EU and its representatives," he said. "We perform the role of mediator. This is also based on impartiality, respect for mediators and focusing on humanitarian issues. We are trying to move the process forward, but the difference of opinions is great, especially on the status. This cannot be resolved rapidly, but does not mean there is no hope. I believe that the solution can be found due to patience, common sense, compromise and reconciliation."
Lefort said during his visit to Tskhinvali that the independence of South Ossetia is a reality that must be recognised, according to Ossetian media.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry urged Lefort to explain his position in Tbilisi on Wednesday.
Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognised republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.
Translated by NH
Edited by SM