Tue, 06/06/2006 - 19:19

As it was already announced the Presidents of the Republic of South Ossetia and Republic of Abkhazia had a joined press- conference.
Below are the most interesting in our opinion questions and answers.

Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is on the decision stage, despite of that there are problems, how are going to solve the problems of Gali region and the so called refugees?

Sergey Bagapsh: There are many speculations about this in some of the western and Georgian mass media, but I would like to say that Gali region is like the other regions of Abkhazia and we are not going to change something. Abkhazia is unique in the sense that after the war the leadership of the Republic voluntarily and unilaterally returned 55 thousand refugees. There is some migration but currently about 50-55 thousand people are residing in Gali region permanently. We will not be able to see the same in any of the conflict regions. We consider them as our population and will treat them as our citizens.

How are you welcomed on the Ossetian soil, your strongest impressions?

Sergey Bagapsh: There is so much cordiality here, so much decency. Certainly one has to live a long life and do a lot for the people to deserve such a treatment. I think, I did do anything to leave memories in South Ossetia. I understand that it is not Sergey Bagapsh that is welcomed but Abkhazia and the people of Abkhazia. I would like to congratulate the President of South Ossetia with the volume of works that are being done, despite the political situation. I was very much impressed with the rehabilitation centre that we visited yesterday. We are grateful to the people of South Ossetia. We have to know that our future is interrelated, we are going along this life together and will achieve everything next to each other.

What do you think about the possible future cooperation between Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the field of information?

Sergey Bagapsh: Let do not limit ourselves with informational ties. We are working over many issues, the Government was already instructed accordingly. The agreement that was signed between Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not limited to some narrow ties. We are for wide cooperation and are working over opening joint ventures. Our relations are not ending today. A solid foundation was laid, that has to be arranged and adjusted.

From the day of signing the association agreement between Abkhazia and Republic of South Ossetia on 20 September 2005 the relations between the two republics have improved. What do you think was achieved since then?

Eduard Kokoity: The most important that was achieved, is that in almost all the documents and at our public appearances with Eduard Dzhabeevich our Republics are mentioned in one context. That gives us strength. Everybody understands that when the Republics are together they are treated differently and spoken to in different language. I do not want to run before the train but most probably all three of us, including the President of Pridnestrovie, in the nearest future will meet in Abkhazia. We will discuss peace, so that our lives are not disturbed. So that Pridnestrovie is not disturbed with blockades, South Ossetians are not disturbed in building their state and Abkhazia is not disturbed too. We are not asking for anything. We are only asking to let us live and be friends. I think through these relations we reached a new political level.

Eduard Kokoity: I fully support Sergey Vasilievich. Many people are offering “help”. The best help for Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Pridnestrovie would be to stop disturbing us and stop interfering in our internal affairs. Our nations made serious steps and those steps deserve respect and recognition. The decision of the people of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Pridnestrovie and Nagorny Karabakh should be respected. These are ancient nations with ancient traditions and should be treated accordingly. We have an agreement and we are not hiding that in the nearest future in Abkhazia will take place a meeting of the three Presidents, maybe even four. We are interested in improving the wellbeing of the people of Abkhazia, SOUth Osseta, Pidnestrovie and Nagorny Karabakh and will be discussing that. We will not allow calling our Republics black spots on the body of Europe.

On 13 June will take place a meeting of the Presidents of Russia and Georgia. What do you think can be expected from this meeting?

Sergey Bagaph: We should not overestimate these meetings. That is a normal political process. Georgia put itself in a situation when it is necessary to meet. It is not possible to be a President and fight with everybody. Most probably there are some economic issues that Georgia has to discuss with Russia, about wine, mineral water etc. It is an ordinary meeting and we do not expect something extraordinary.

Eduard Kokoity: We should not look at the meeting through the prism of relations between Russia and Ossetia and Russia and Abkhazia. There are many problems between Georgia and Russian that can be discussed. We would be very happy if Russian and Georgia could find common language. We are for peace in the Caucasus and all the people that live here should be more responsible as there are powers that want to explode Caucasus.

What are the economic and trade ties between the Republics and what is the role of Georgia and Russia?

Sergey Bagapsh: It is had to solve all the integration issues immediately as Abkhazia and South Ossetia are far from each other. However, we are discussing very interesting projects in the field of communication and power systems. Very important thing is rest. I am inviting again the South Ossetian children. Let them swim and mix with their coevals. This is the most important integration.

Eduard Kokoity: We have discussed with Sergey Vasilievich recently discussed opening of joint ventures and we are inviting to cooperation North Ossetia too.

How do you estimate the role of the International Organizations, in particular UN and OSCE in the conflict resolution process?

Sergey Bagapsh: I think the role of the UN is serious, that is the military observers and the rest. It is a structure that guarantees stability. The dialog that currently exists is mainly under the aegis of UN. I think they are copying with their task, at least those that are in Abkhazia. Sometimes we have absolutely biased politicians that come from Georgia. In those cases, we work with them and their opinion changes.

Eduard Kokoity: We have high respect to OSCE. Mr. Roi Rivz did a lot during the capture of Ossetian hostages, personally came to place of their detention to bar the influence methods that were used against our citizens. At he same time, it should be noted that the military observers of OSCE, discrediting our Republic, are render bias information to the active Chairman of OSCE.

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