Boris Chochiev: The South Ossetian side is not making some "sacred cow" out of the Geneva discussions format

Wed, 18/07/2012 - 22:45

Co-chairs of the Geneva discussions, representing the OSCE, EU and UN, arrived in South Ossetia. In Tskhinval the co-chairmen were received by the South Ossetian delegation at the Geneva talks on Security in Transcaucasia, led by the head of the delegation of South Ossetia Boris Chochiev.

At the beginning of the meeting, Boris Chochiev thanked the co-chair of the OSCE Podrig Murphy for his help in organizing the MPRI emergency meeting July 1.

"Unfortunately, we have not any results yet, but you have performed your mission. The situation in Zardiantkari keeps the same, and today we`ll continue the discussion on this issue", - said Chochiev.
He also noted that placing additional Georgian posts in the border areas had also caused concern.
"The illicit observation of the territory of South Ossetia is still in progress, it is even more active than before. This cannot but disturb the people of our Republic. In addition, at the instigation of the Georgian side the rumorson aggravation of the situation are kept discussing actively. The evidence of this is setting up the police post in Zardiantkari"- has noted Chochiev.
He has said that in the 90s of last century, when the Ossetians were expelled from their territory by Georgians, 40 Ossetian and 12 Georgian families were living in the village of Zardiantkari.
"All the Ossetian population was driven out; their houses were burned and destroyed. Since 2006, about ten families returned to their former homes, the others are living in South Ossetia and Russia. We understand that this is the territory of Georgia, we have no any claims. But we do not understand the position of the EU observers, whose mandate binds them to ensure the safety of the residents of South Ossetia and restrain the aggression of Georgia against the RSO. Before removing the police post closer to the Georgian -South Ossetian border, the observers did not study the situation and did not think over the possible aggravation of the situation, "- said Chochiev.
He stressed that the South Ossetian side had not the right to dictate to Georgia, what to do in its own territory.
"But we, as members of the Geneva discussions, are obliged to pay attention to these facts," - said Chochiev.
He noted that people in Zardiantkari and Khelchua are concerned very much, and they have every reason.
"If they had not suffered in the 90s, we would not have had any problems. In 1991 the Ossetian village of Khelchua, bordering on Zardiantkari, was almost completely burnt by the Georgian residents of the border areas, "- said Chochiev.
He has stressed that if the Georgian Post is not removed to its original location, the South Ossetian authorities will be forced to seek for accommodation for those families who had to leave Zardiantkari.
"The question is: what for we need observers, the Geneva discussions and meetings of MPRI? If in the near future we do not take specific measures, the situation may affect negatively the course of the Geneva discussions. Therefore, we ask you to consider our concerns, "- said Chochiev.
The EU Co-Chair Philippe Lefort, in turn, asked to include on the agenda the today's discussion on the forthcoming meeting in Geneva, as well as the draft document on the non-use of force.
He has recalled that the Geneva discussion -is the only international platform where South Ossetia has an opportunity to express its positions.
"And if it collapses, the other negotiating format will not be established," - stressed Lefort.
In this regard, Boris Chochiev said that the South Ossetian side was not making some "sacred cow" out of the format of the Geneva talks and if it stopped functioning, other conditions would be created.
Then the meeting continued behind closed doors. Following the results of the meeting will be held a briefing with participation of the co-chairs. In addition, the co-chairs are going to visit today the village of Zardiantkari to familiarizewith the situation at the spot.

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