A meeting with Geneva Co-Chairmen was held in Tskhinval

Sat, 04/04/2009 - 00:05

A meeting of Geneva talks Co-Chairmen with Post-Conflict Settlement Special Representative was held in Tskhinval. At the meeting, the South Ossetian side was presented with Foreign Minister Murat Djioev, HR Commissioner David Sanakoev, State Advisor Kosta Kochiev, Deputy Foreign Minister Alan Pliev, and Assistant to Post-Conflict Settlement Special Representative Merab Chigoev. The international delegation was headed by the EU Special Representative (SR) Pierre Morel. OSCE and UN representatives were also part to the delegation.
"It turned out that we usually meet close to next round of Geneva talks. Today, it is a working meeting and the visit program includes a trip to Leningori district", he said.
Chochiev had pointed to a number of shortcomings in the work of international organizations and stressed that "the Geneva talks took on a populist character, since the achieved agreements are recalled only right before the next round of the talks or close to your visit".
"I should say that it has been already seven months, but we yet haven't heard any assessment by Geneva co-chairmen on Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia. Yet, this is the only format for within the frames of which representatives of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia and international community. All international organizations and states, including the United States, always refer to the Geneva agreements. However, we do no see any concrete meaning, objectivity and search for root causes of August events in South Ossetia", said Chochiev.
He stated that the work of Co-Chairpersons had a pro-Georgian stance.
"Regarding the Geneva Talks Co-Chairmen to represent EU, UN and OSCE, I cannot say that thir current work is unbiased and independent. I would say that you have more a pro-Georgian approach, the further on the worse. We are concerned with the fact that the work is going in the direction to present the situation as if it were no Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia, but Russia's aggression against Georgia. We should turn the work back to objectivity, however we haven't seen development of the kind", he added.
Chochiev emphasized that "despite the fact that the South Ossetian had repeatedly raised the issue on designing a format for adopting a moratorium on armaments delivery to Georgia; presently, Georgia is actively restoring its military capacities and President Saakashvili stated that Georgia had started building-up a new, potent army". According to Chochiev, no one responded to this kind of statements. "As to EU monitors, these are people who conceal from the international community Georgia's crimes and the real situation. We will provide you with a document where all facts of provocations and crimes committed by the Georgian side during February-March 2009 are listed; there are locations of 35 checkpoints with the numbers of personnel and armory.
On 29 March, an incident occurred in the Georgian village of Dvani, after which Mr. Haber stated that the shooting was opened by South Ossetian and the Russian sides. Why was he silent when Georgia committed provocations against South Ossetia. One should bear in mind the upcoming events of 9 April, and all these incidents might be organized by the Georgian special services. It might be done to shift the attention of the Georgian population from domestic to outside problems", assumed Chochiev.
He also touched upon the gas supply for South Ossetia and potable and irrigation water supply for the Georgian side.
"The situation is similar with gas supplies. Only words, no deeds, no significant changes. Nothing is done to solve the problem.
In Geneva we reached a common understanding that we should deal with water problem, but so far, nothing, but an exchange of correspondence, had happened", said Chochiev.
"As to illegally abducted and detained citizens of South Ossetia, they were imaged as criminals sentence for 4-5 years in detention. With the time passing, the problem becomes more and more complicated. No one cares about the fate of our citizens.
As to humanitarian assistance, it seems as if the organizations willing to help us are politicizing this issue, they do not care about the population facing hardships. Take the example with the ICRC, which is operating without any politics since August 2008.
We have earlier agreed that the UNHCR would open an office here, directly subordinate to Vienna, but again, nothing has been done.
And the last, the OSCE Presence. It has been a long time that we are exchanging letters, but so far, no concrete work has been done. On 19 February, we went to Vienna to discuss our further relations, but the meeting was not attended by any representative of the Greek Chairmanship. Now, we are blamed for not letting you enter the territory of South Ossetia by OSCE monitors' cars," said Chochiev.
"It is not an idle whim of ours. We rest our hopes on the existing mechanism of Geneva talks. But there should be also a concrete work so that everyone would understand that the consultations pursue concrete results, and are not pro-Georgian", he concluded.
In return, Pierre Morel said that the Geneva talks Co-Chairmen would try to distribute the work to address all the aspects mentioned.
"I would like to focus on the issue you started and finished your speech with. In particular, the statement that we take sides which I, of course, cannot admit. We are facing the consequences of August 2008 conflict. We fully understand the deep feelings and frustration which we should cope with. We are doing our best to improve the situation. There is much criticism towards out work, but we are not taking sides", said Morel.
According to him. the EUMM monitors risk their lives every days while implementing their mission. They are from 25 member states and I would like to assure you that their mission is extremely hard. When I talk about criticism, I mean the criticism voiced by other sides as well. This is normal, and I believe we should continue our work,” said Morel.
As to the conflict, the causes and who did what, Ambassador Morel stressed that “this is the work to be done by the Independent Fact-finding Mission, and all these aspects will be reflected in the final report which is due this summer”.
”Despite the fact that the Mission is independent, it is funded by the EU, and we want people to gain true information. The Head of the Mission, Mrs. Tagliavini, a Swiss diplomat, is independent and unbiased, this is why she was selected, “ he underscored.
”As to our goals, we have to focus on two aspects – these are security and stability and improvement of conditions for displaced persons and refugees. You said that nothing had been achieved, but I would like to stress, among other issues, the presence of international monitors. Upon all and each of your requests and enquiries, the EU monitors always went to the spot to fulfill the requests of the South Ossetian side. This work is aimed at decreasing tensions. The crucial element related to exchange of information on a regular basis between relevant sides was missing. This is exactly the goal of the Incident Prevention mechanism – to bring in this component, to ensure regular communication. The mechanisms should become operational as soon as possible. You know how hard it was, we spent more than ten hours in December and in February to reach this agreement. I believe, the meetings in Geneva should talke place more often,” he stressed.
The meeting continued behind closed doors.

Мой мир