OSCE special envoy considers Geneva discussions on Georgia only right format for today

OSCE special envoy considers Geneva discussions on Georgia only right format for today

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 22 /Trend, E.Ostapenko/
The Geneva discussions to resolve the conflict in Georgia are a necessary and only possible format of communication of all parties involved, said the OSCE special envoy for protracted conflicts Giedrius Cekuolis.
"The Geneva discussions are sufficiently effective, it is the only format where it is possible to collect all the participants. It is hardly necessary to change the format at this stage," Cekuolis said in an interview with Trend in Baku.
Cekuolis is on a two-day visit to Azerbaijan in order to prepare meetings of the OSCE Chairman, Lithuanian Audronius Ažubalis in mid March. After Baku, Cekuolis will leave for Tbilisi.
The dialogue within the Geneva discussions has been held since October 2008 based on the agreements of the presidents of Russia and France, reached after the events in South Ossetia in August of the same year. The discussions are attended by the delegations of Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Russia, USA, as well as representatives of the EU, UN and OSCE.

Although the process moves hardly, it is very important to preserve the Geneva discussions, said Cekuolis. The informal atmosphere of these meetings allows to lively discuss urgent problems that lead to real results.
"Who could expect that Georgia will make a unilateral declaration on non-use of force in resolving conflict? Just one and a half years ago, it was unthinkable, but was reached in the end," said Cekuolis, who is co-chair of the Geneva discussions.

The Geneva meetings also resulted in creating in 2009 the Ergneti/Dvani Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism.
Once a month meetings are conducted between the sides in the village of Ergneti at the administrative line of Georgia with South Ossetia. The meetings, which Cekuolis conducts, discuss all possible incidents, if any has occurred.

Feb. 21, an important event took place within Ergneti meetings - were exchanged persons from Tbilisi and Tskhinvali, who were detained for crossing administrative lines.

Speaking about the OSCE presence in the Georgian conflict zone, Cekuolis noted the desire to resume the OSCE observation mission in Georgia, which was closed in June 2009.

"Work is underway to resume the activities of the OSCE mission, said Cekuolis. - Yet it is difficult to tell on what terms the activities of the mission may be renewed."
According to Cekuolis, to resume the mission requires a positive impetus of all parties involved. "Each side has its own vision on how the OSCE should return to the region, he said. - It needs to generalize these visions and come to a common denominator."
The OSCE observation mission was present in Georgia since 1992. In 2009, Russia vetoed the continuation of its work, claiming biased nature of the organization.

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