Georgia, Tbilisi, Aug.8 / Trend, N.Kirtskhalia /
Georgia seeks to settle relations with Abkhaz and Ossetian compatriots and is expressing its wish to set aside past disagreements, Georgian Foreign Ministry's special statement on the fourth anniversary of the 2008 August War says.
Military actions were launched in the Georgian territory, South Ossetia on Aug.8 in 2008. Later the Russian troops occupied the Tskhinvali city and drove the Georgian military back. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August. In response, Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow and announced two unrecognized republics as the occupied territories.
The statement says that on the fourth anniversary of the 2008 war, Georgia reiterates that its goal is to resolve the conflict peacefully.
Tbilisi accused the Kremlin of openly opposing the establishment of international security and stability mechanisms in the territories under occupation. "At the same time, Russia continuously poses obstacles to the International Geneva Discussions, which were designed with two aims in mind - developing international security arrangements and ensuring the safe and dignified return of displaced persons," the statement says.
Meanwhile, Georgian Foreign Ministry stresses efforts of allies that helped check the progress of the Russian troops in August 2008. Therefore, Georgia is especially grateful to every state which has contributed personnel and helped deploy the European Union Monitoring Mission within the shortest possible time after the conflict.
The Foreign Ministry says that despite the aggression of 2008, the country maintains a friendly approach to Russian citizens. "The economic investments of Russian companies active in Georgia are protected. Georgia unilaterally abolished visa requirements - first for the residents of the neighboring North Caucasus and subsequently for all citizens of the Russian federation," the statement says.
The statement expresses readiness "to set aside past disagreements, while taking active and pragmatic steps towards enabling the communities divided by the new Berlin Wall of the occupation line to re-engage, to look once more with confidence at each other and towards the shared future".
"The Georgian government adopted an engagement strategy in the aftermath of the 2008 war, the main aim of which is to restore confidence through day-to-day relations with people living in the occupied territories and to offer them opportunities for economic and social development. By implementing this strategy, we are extending the hand of friendship to our Abkhaz and Ossetian compatriots," the statement says.
Georgian Foreign Ministry recalled that the country has on more than one occasion expressed its readiness to negotiate with Russia on all outstanding issues at any level. "Unfortunately, Russia has not reciprocated," the statement says.
According to the statement, Georgia remains committed to making a special contribution to the strengthening of international security in the region and worldwide. Our soldiers help maintain security in Afghanistan. Georgia's presence in the UN and EU civilian and police missions is set to increase in the years to come.