The regular meeting within the frames of the MPRI has been held at the border of South Ossetia and Georgia

Wed, 23/11/2011 - 19:36

The regular meeting of the mechanisms of prevention and reaction to incidents (MPRI) has been held today at the frontier Georgian village of Dvani. The meeting was attended by representatives of Russia, South Ossetia, Georgia, the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and the OSCE.

The meeting was held behind closed doors. As reported by the Deputy Presidential Envoy for post-conflict settlement Merab Chigoev after the meeting, there were nine questions on the agenda. "In the first place was discussed the issue of missing citizens of South Ossetia – Chigoev said. - We have all the evidence, that of the seven missing people since August 2008 at least five people at different times have been in hands of law enforcement and security agencies of Georgia. We presented this evidence to colleagues from Georgia, the EU observers and OSCE; they have assured us, that the arguments will be considered and we will be given definite information about the fate of the missing persons. "He has also noted that the issue of the fate of the South Ossetian citizens, detained in Georgia and the citizens of Georgia, who were convicted and are serving a sentence in South Ossetia, was also discussed at the meeting. "This complex problem each time meets more understanding among the parties. Today we have once again agreed that the matter will be raised with the relevant agencies of our republic, as within the frames of MPRI, we do not have a mandate to make decisions on these detainees. We will try that the Georgian citizens serving sentences in South Ossetia and, vice versa, would be able to meet with their families", - the Deputy Plenipotentiary has underlined. According to Chigoev violations of the state border of South Ossetia and Georgia were also discussed at the meeting. "On November 19 three armed citizens of Georgia, which allegedly were hunting, were detained in the territory of South Ossetia. The relevant agencies are taking certain measures about them. We have informed the Georgian side, that their fate will soon be solved by law enforcement authorities of the Republic", - he has said. Head of the South Ossetian delegation has also regretted that the Georgian side continues to politicize humanitarian issues. "The issue of gas supply of Leningor District in South Ossetia, unfortunately, has not yet been resolved. The fourth winter residents of this district, -most of them the ethnic Georgians- remain without gas, while the EU and OSCE experts have confirmed that the pipeline in the territory of Georgia is in good repair, "- Chigoev has emphasized. According to him, gas-free in the district causes great damage to ecology, as the population cut down a huge number of woodland for heating their houses. "We also discussed the issue of water delivery to some areas of Georgia from South Ossetia – the Deputy Presidential Envoy said. - For three years, the South Ossetian side, as a sign of good will, was repeatedly delivering water to some areas of Georgia. However, gas was not fed to Leningor District. We proposed to the Georgian side to conclude an agreement between the economic entities of our countries, which carry out gas supply from Georgia, and water supply from the RSO. This agreement is only between the entities, as unfortunately, Georgia is not yet ready for signing the bilateral agreements. But this proposal has not met understanding of the Georgian side." He has also said that the water delivery to Georgia from South Ossetia was always free of charge. "But as it turned out, some businessmen of Georgia were collecting payment for water supply from the local population. It's a shame that the Georgian businessmen cash in on our good deeds for the Georgian population and are robbing their own countrymen "- Chigoev has concluded. The head of the Georgian delegation, head of analytical department of Interior Minister of Georgia Shota Utiashvili told the pressmen that the meeting was conducted in a traditionally constructive manner that is useful for both parties. "Great attention was paid to free movement. This is the especially actual issue, because the problem is mainly in transporting the seriously ill people to Georgia to give them the urgent medical aid. We will be searching for ways for the compromise settlement of this matter", - Utiashvili has assured. According to the special representative of the OSCE Chairman-in protracted conflicts Giedrius Chekuolis, the meetings within the framework of MPRI help to consider all the issues of the parties , to reveal the details in order to discuss them more thoroughly within the framework of the Geneva talks. "The meeting was businesslike, not easy, but very efficient. Such meetings are very useful, since the last time the parties detain fewer people at the border, and problems with their release are less. We called for further promotion of the question on free movement at the border. People want to trade, visit their relatives, to celebrate holidays together. The farmers` issues have also been discussed; - they have the fields and gardens beyond the both sides of the frontier. This issue should be addressed and resolved, "- Chekuolis has underlined. At the end of the meeting representatives of the OSCE observer mission met with the parents of the missing citizens of South Ossetia; the meeting was held behind closed doors. The next meeting of the MPRI is scheduled for December 21, 2011.

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