South Ossetia suggests revising the terms of meetings of working groups

Fri, 25/09/2009 - 11:47

South Ossetia suggested introducing new terms for the meetings of working groups within the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM). As reported by the Head of the South Ossetian delegation to the IPRM Merab Chigoev, the today’s meeting in the borderline village of Ergneti, the sides did not manage to come to an agreement on changes to the existing terms of the meetings, however after the meeting in Geneva on 17-18 September, the agreement on changes to the terms of the meetings was achieved.

“The co-chairs from the South Ossetian side and the EU agreed that our meetings would be conducted through a secretariat to be composed of the heads of the working groups”, said Chigoev. According to him, the main difference from the terms is that the meetings have no fixed chairmanship. During each meeting, the chair belongs to the side which has suggested this or that issue for the agenda to be discussed by the working groups, while today, the meeting was presided by the EU representative. Besides, the new format clearly sets forth the functions of the secretariat, which should deal with the elaboration of the agenda for each meeting and drafting the meeting’s summery paper to be agreed with all the parties. “The Georgian side moved against, stating that “overloaded format leads to nowhere”. However, this is mainly a political issues: the Georgian side wants these meetings to be led by European organizations – the Head of the EUMM and a representative of the OSCE, who has nothing to do with our meetings. We categorically stand against this”, stressed Chigoev. “If the new terms, the new format does not work, we reserve the right to suspend our participation in these meetings”, underscored the head of the South Ossetian delegation.
Additionally to organizational issues, the participants discussed the problem with release of the South Ossetian citizens who were detained after the aggression in August 2008, the missing, border-crossing and response to incidents in the area adjacent to the borderline.

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