(osce.org) - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, said today he was in close contact with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgian Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to try to decrease tensions over the case of four Russian military officers detained in Georgia for alleged spying, reports Trend.
"I appeal to all concerned parties to abide by the principles of international law, to abstain from provocations, to establish direct dialogue and to find a quick solution. I will remain in contact with all the relevant parties and work towards this end," the Chairman- n-Office said.
Minister De Gucht said he was ready to travel to the region at short notice if his presence could bring a breakthrough. He was prepared to use his good offices to find a solution that could decrease tension.
Relations between Russia and Georgia - both participating States in the 56-nation OSCE - have deteriorated since the arrest on 27 September of four Russian military officers. Georgia has charged them with spying. Russia responded by recalling its Ambassador to Georgia and starting to evacuate diplomatic staff and families. It also stopped issuing visas to Georgian citizens.
Last Thursday in Vienna, the Chairman-in-Office urged political leaders to show vision and take responsibility to help solve "frozen conflicts", such as those in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, that threaten to erupt anew at any time.