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Monday, 24 October 2016


Georgia and South Ossetia are trying to come to terms

2009-09-04 22:36

3870.jpegYesterday, the fourth meeting of the Georgian and South-Ossetian parties took place in the village of Ergneti in the context of discussing the border incident preventing mechanism. With the participation of Russia and European Union, representatives of Tskhinval and Tbilisi discussed the opportunity of the free movement of those residents living in the near-border regions who would like to visit religious places and cemeteries. The diplomats also agreed to clear up the situation with the detained citizens at the next meeting which is to take place at the end of September.


As it had been expected, the discussion in Ergneti turned out to be rather complicated: it lasted more than five hours and, according to its participants, was rather emotional, as Gazeta reports. One of the main achievements of the meeting was the preliminary agreement that the local population should be allowed to cross the border freely so they could visit religious places and cemeteries. The initiative was brought forward by Head of the EU mission in Georgia Hansjörg Haber, Kavkazsky Uzel reports. The Georgian party supported the idea at once, while the representatives of South Ossetia expressed their consent but promised to take the final decision after thoroughly investigating the matter.

The South-Ossetian diplomats added to the agenda the issue of liberating the Ossetians that are considered to be missing after the last August events. As is known, Tskhinval believes that these people were abducted by the Georgian party in the period from August to September from their villages in Tskhinvalsky and Znaursky regions of the republic. The absence of any steps forward became one of the reasons why the negotiations in the context of the incident prevention mechanism were suspended for three months. Despite the fact that Head of the Georgian delegation, Head of the Informational and Analytic Department of MIA Shota Utiashvili did not comment upon the information from South Ossetia, it was the EU mission representatives who promised to solve the difficult situation. "They treated the matter with much understanding and said they would give an official answer at the beginning of the next week", - reported Deputy Authorized Representative for post-conflict settlement Merab Chigoev, who was present at the negotiations.

The issue of the two Russian citizens detained in August in Georgia was also touched upon in the course of the negotiations. According to Chigoev, if they are not released before the middle of next week, Tskhinval will take it as an "unfriendly step" of the Georgian party. Any delay in settling this problem will bring nothing but unwanted tension at the border. In their turn, Tbilisi representatives pointed out that they have to consult the relevant structures.

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