The South Ossetian side: Georgia has admitted that there are seven South Ossetian citizens detained in its prisons

Sat, 30/05/2009 - 20:42

Today, the second meeting of the working groups within the frames of the agreements reached at Geneva talks was held in the village of Dvani (Georgia) at the borderline with South Ossetia. Representatives of South Ossetia, Georgia, EU and OSCE participated in the meeting. According to the Deputy Special Representative for Post-Conflict Settlement Merab Chigoev, the meeting was difficult and the discussion was tense. One of the issues raised by the South Ossetian side was related to who would be the chair of the meeting, who would be responsible for records management and circulation of data to the Co-Chairs.
“EU, OSCE and Georgia unanimously suggested EU and OSCE as Chairs, which we refused suggesting that these responsibilities be undertaken by Russia and the EU. Our position stems from the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement, being the basis not only for these meetings, and also for Geneva discussions. It is logical that these meeting are presided by representatives of the RF and EU. So far unfortunately, we have not found any support of our counterparts. Our demand is absolutely logical and we will keep insisting on it”, said Chigoev. “The second issue that we have not reached any agreement on was the venue for the meetings. We base ourselves on the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement where it is clearly set that the mechanisms would be implemented after the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Georgia and at the border area adjacent to South Ossetia. Hence, there is no ground for EU, OSCE and Georgia’s demanding that the meetings are convened on both sides of the border,” he noted.
Issues related to the fate of South Ossetian citizens who were abducted by Georgian law enforcement bodies or for any other reasons are kept on the territory of Georgia. “Some relevant questions have been clarified. The Georgian authorities admitted that 7 our citizens are in their prisons. Some of them already got sentenced, others are under trial or their cases are under investigation. We have firmly raised this issue before the EU and OSCE, which have been inefficiently dealing with the fate of these people, that if our legitimate demands to clarify the fate of our citizens is not clarified and the issue of the meetings’ chair is not settled, we reserve our right to refuse from this format meetings in the future”, said Chigoev.
The next meeting has been scheduled for 11 June.

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