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The OSCE mission farewell ceremony: never say “never”2009-06-25 10:14
A farewell ceremony of the OSCE mission officers has been recently held in Mikhail Saakashvili's Krtsanissk residence. The president awarded one of the country's highest awards, Order of Honour, to head of mission Terry Khakalu. On June, 30, OSCE is going to terminate its work in the territory of Georgia in connection with non-prolongation of the mandate. However, does it mean one should say a final good-buy to the OSCE "missioners" in the Caucasus?
The OSCE mission that has been closing down its activities since January, 1 is leaving Georgia. The numerous attempts to prolong the observers' mandate in the cause of the meetings held by the organization's Permanent council have been unsuccessful so far. Greece, which is the OSCE chairman, has several times suggested technical prolongation with no account of Russia having recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. As to Moscow, it insisted upon considering the geopolitical situation in the South Caucasus after the Georgian troops attacked Tskhinval in August.
The Russian party has more than once brought forward the initiative of creating two separate missions in the territory of Georgia and South Ossetia; however, the OSCE did not agree to such step for it considered the location of a full-scale office of the organization in the South-Ossetian capital to be the indirect recognition of the republic. Thus, the 17-year history of the observers' presence in the zone of the Georgian and South Ossetian conflict has come to an end.
On June, 22, at the farewell party given in the Krtsanissk residence Mikhail Saakashvili thanked OSCE for its efforts in Georgia and underlined that head of mission Terry Khakala was "one the most successful diplomats that has ever worked in Georgia", Rosbalt reports. Saakashvili awarded Order of Honour to Khakala in acknowledgement of the work done, having expressed regret as to the mission closure. In her turn, Khakala underlined: "The mission has realized many projects and was planning to do more; however, the events are taking another course. We have been working as a team, and it was the team of my dream".
Well, a farewell is a farewell. The point is whether one should organize such a heart-breaking farewell ceremony when both the parties stand for the resumption of the OSCE activities in the Caucasus.