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Geneva discussions: everybody is happy with null results2009-07-02 18:50
The sixth round of discussions over the situation in the Caucasus took place in Geneva. Though no palpable results were achieved the negotiators consider the meeting as satisfying. The next round is scheduled for September 17.
In the run-up to the sixth session of discussions between Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia the situation was rather tense. It seemed envoys of Moscow and Tbilisi went to Switzerland to present their initiatives which according to the analysts were mutually exclusive. The result was logical. This is how the proposal of a non-use of force agreement for the new republics Russia made was taken by the Georgian diplomats: yes, Tbilisi is ready to sign it but only with Moscow as a counterpart and on condition that Russian troops are pulled out of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"Georgia's position on a non-use of force agreement in question can't be alarming for the people of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; - ITAR-TASS quotes Grigory Karasin, leader of the Russian delegation. - Russia officially acknowledged independence of the republics and it makes no sense to switch the negotiating process over to the area that doesn't actually exist". According to the diplomat Tbilisi is consciously bringing up "the Georgian-Russian knot" considering the young republics as its constituents. Naturally Moscow, Sukhum and Tskhinval don't accept this approach. Nevertheless discussion of the vital topic is sure to continue. As Pierre Morel, EU Special Envoy stated the execution of a non-use of force agreement in Transcaucasia can become one of the key elements of peaceful solution of regional conflicts with all participants of the talks being of the same opinion.
Another pivotal issue of this round was the modification of format of Geneva talks in view of the UN and OSCE missions' winding-up. After the two international missions left the Caucasus the question of their co-chairmanship in Geneva was raised. The problem is that both New York and Vienna speak a lot about necessity to maintain international missions but do little for elaboration of new mandates. It would be logical to leave former powers of the UN and OSCE representatives provided they stay in the unquiet region.
During the talks Grigory Karasin expressed hope that OSCE monitors would be able to come back to the Caucasus in the near future. "It is quite natural that one group of monitors must work in South Ossetia and the other in Georgia", - he noted. - It's a pity the OSCE leaders stick to the opinion that two groups should be left undivided".