(OSCE) - OSCE Permanent Council Chairman, Belgian Ambassador Bertrand de Crombrugghe, today called on the sides in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to resume constructive dialogue.
The Ambassador, who is leading a visit to Georgia by heads of 13 delegations of OSCE participating States, said: "We urge the sides to reiterate their commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The OSCE will to do its utmost to help the sides co-operate in order to lay the basis for a lasting settlement."
The delegation of OSCE ambassadors met several Georgian leaders, including President Mikheil Saakashvili, Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli, Foreign Minister Gela Bezhuashvili and Merab Antadze, who recently was appointed State Minister for Conflict Resolution. The OSCE ambassadors also visited the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zones and met the leaders of the breakaway regions, reports Trend.
"The OSCE reaffirms its support to Georgia's territorial integrity," Ambassador de Crombrugghe said. "Our message is that self-determination is not a principle that means independence. There are many other constitutional mechanisms to achieve self-determination."
In Tskhinvali, the Commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces, Major-General Marat Kulakhmetov and OSCE Field Office personnel briefed the ambassadors on security issues, including concerns about freedom of movement for OSCE Military Monitoring Officers and aggressive actions against them.
The group also visited a water management project in the village of Kekhvi and a hospital in Tskhinvali. Both projects are set to receive part of the funds raised at a Donors' Conference hosted by OSCE Chairman-in-Office Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht in June.
"I am very pleased with the support given by all sides to this important confidence-building programme which will directly benefit all communities," Ambassador de Crombrugghe said.
During the five-day visit, which ends today, the delegation also discussed human rights with the Georgian leadership, civil society representatives and members of opposition political parties.