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Tskhinval and Tbilisi exchanging prisoners2011-02-18 22:10
The long-awaited meeting of the Georgian and South-Ossetian representatives in the near-border village of Ergneti was held at last. Despite the negative attitude of some of the Georgian diplomats and European Union missioners, Tbilisi and Tskhinval agreed on a possible exchange of convicts, which proves once again that the narrow bridge between the two neighbouring countries is vital.
It was clear in the morning that another found of negotiations in the context of the border incidents prevention and response between Georgia and South Ossetia might fail, though co-chairmen of Geneva discussions who take every chance to stress the necessity of a dialogue between the neighbours arrived in Tskhinval the day before.
For example, European Union Spokesman Pierre Morel declared that all the negotiations participants try to go ahead despite the discrepancies in the key issues. Besides, he characterized the meetings in Ergneti as one of the basic achievements of Geneva discussions. "This work must be carried on and it must be enhanced because this format implies a direct contact between the parties and extraordinary meetings in case of necessity".
OSCE's co-chairman of the discussions Gedryus Chekuolis supported his colleague; according to him, any issues might be settled easily should there be a political will. "Otherwise, this beating about the bush may last for years", - he is cited by IA Res.
No explanation can be provided to what happened later on. These events can't even be called "beating about the bush", as Chekuolis put it. One of these days, Deputy Plenipotentiary of South-Ossetian President for post-conflict settlement Merab Chigoyev reminded: negotiations in Ergneti are scheduled for February 17, where the future of the missing citizens of the Caucasian republic will be defined.
Nevertheless, head of the Georgian delegation at the meetings in Ergneti and head of the Information and Analytical Department of the Georgian MIA Shota Utiashvili stated today that Tbilisi has got not the slightest idea of the coming meeting. "We are completely unaware of such meeting being planned", - he said.