Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SCE welcomes agreement on security mechanisms at Geneva discussions on Georgia

OSCE Press Release

GENEVA, 18 February 2009 - The OSCE welcomes the agreement reached today in Geneva on working-level mechanisms to tackle security-related incidents in the region and said it stands ready to assist in making the measures work effectively.

"This is a vital step forward," said Ambassador Charalampos Christopoulos, the Special Envoy of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. "The OSCE stands ready to assist to make these mechanisms work effectively."

He and the other two co-chairs - Ambassador Johan Verbeke of the UN and Ambassador Pierre Morel of the EU - agreed with the participants that the next meeting would be in Geneva in the spring, at a date to be determined.

The mechanisms will involve weekly meetings - or more frequent if needed - to handle disputes and incidents on the ground. There will also be a 24-hour hotline.

The discussions today and yesterday took place in two parallel working groups; one looking at security and stability in the region and the other at humanitarian questions including internally displaced persons and refugees.

Christopoulos noted all participants appreciate the OSCE's role in helping to ensure the resumption last month of natural gas supplies to Tskhinvali.

"This is recognition of the role the OSCE can continue to play to build trust and security in the region," the Ambassador said. He said the OSCE was working with equal resolve to help restore potable and irrigation water supplies to the region and helping interested parties resolve other humanitarian questions.

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For further information contact:

Martin Nesirky - Spokesperson
Press and Public Information Section
Wallnerstrasse 6
1010 Vienna
Tel.: +43 1 514 36 6150 (office) +43 664 859 08 26 (mobile)
Fax: +43 1 514 36 6105

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