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Permanent Council No 547 of the OSCE: EU Statement in response to the address of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Gomiashvili

Date of Speech : 10-03-2005

Place : Vienna

Speaker : Jacques Reuter, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg at the OSCE

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

The EU welcomes His Excellency Giorgi Gomiashvili, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, to the meeting of the Permanent Council today.

The EU reiterates its strong support for a continued international presence at the Georgian-Russian border. The EU also welcomes the Draft Decision concerning the "Border Management Training Assistance Programme for Georgian Border Guards" in addition to border monitoring and urges for its early adoption.

The EU underlines that a training programme with regional training centres in the field can be a valuable supplementary activity to border monitoring. The EU believes that the training can best be provided "on the spot", in the area where its effects are to be implemented.

The training programme is an appropriate answer to the request of the host country to assist in enhancing its border management capabilities. The training programme also provides an excellent opportunity to make the best possible use of the unique skills and expertise which have been gathered within the organisation, by the BMO.

The Draft Decision for the training programme rightfully mentions that close co-ordination and co-operation with actors active on a bilateral and multilateral basis in border-related capacity building in Georgia will be crucial for the efficiency of the programme. In this context, the EU is pleased to have learned that the Russian Federation also stands ready to consider international assistance schemes, aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the border service of Georgia.

In today's Permanent Council, Deputy Minister Gomiashvili has again stressed that -in addition to training- an international presence at the Georgian-Russian state border should be maintained and is crucial for keeping peace and stability in the region. As was said before, the need for constructive cooperation and transparency on this important stretch of the border remains high. The EU is ready to contribute to this objective and is currently exploring options to this end. Mutual confidence remains essential in conflict prevention. The EU therefore continues to work for a solution acceptable to all parties which should be found in the nearest possible future.

On South Ossetia, the EU continues to follow developments closely. As we said before, solutions for outstanding issues should be sought exclusively through peaceful means, on the basis of the territorial integrity of Georgia. The EU calls for the full implementation of earlier reached agreements, aimed at reducing tensions. The EU is concerned about the lack of progress in the implementation of the demilitarization agreements, which were reached in Sochi on 5 November and Vladikavkaz on 20 November 2004. The EU will support all steps which would enable parties to speedily resume the political dialogue in order to agree on a peaceful and viable solution to the conflict.  In this context, we have listened with interest to the Deputy Minister’s remarks about President Saakashvili’s Peace Plan.

The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia (1) align themselves with this statement.

(1) Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 11-03-2005

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