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The News in Brief

Friday, September 12
Japan supports peaceful settlement of conflict in the Caucasus

“Japan has always supported the idea of peaceful resolution of conflict in the Caucasus,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Mashiko Koumura in a statement issued in Tokyo on Wednesday.

The Minister pointed out that he evaluated the outcome of the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Moscow and his talks with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev very positively. “Japan is strongly approving of the results of this visit, as parts of a positive process directed to the peaceful resolution of conflict in Georgia,” it is emphasized in the statement.

After the meeting an agreement was signed, under which Russia will pull back its troops to where they were located before the beginning of the conflict. A 200-member EU mission will be deployed in the conflict zone, while on October 15, 2008, international talks will be held in Geneva on mechanisms to ensure stability and security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan believes the reached agreement is of particular importance and hopes it will be implemented soon. Besides, “Japan expects that South Ossetia and Abkhazia-related issues will be settled through talks and methods acceptable for the international community,” Koumura said. (Black Sea Press)

NATO ships leave Black Sea

Four NATO ships left the Black Sea on Wednesday as scheduled, according to a NATO press release. “The Standing NATO Maritime Group One (SNMG 1) successfully completed its planned visit and left the Black Sea in accordance with the Montreux Convention, which limits Black Sea naval deployments to twenty-one days for non-Black Sea navies. SNMG 1 will operate in the Mediterranean following its departure from the Black Sea,” the press release reads.

As part of its annual programme, SNMG 1 was deployed to the Black Sea on 21 August 2008 with the aim of promoting interoperability among NATO nations. Under the command of Spanish Rear Admiral Juan Rodriguez Garat it conducted routine port visits and naval exercises with Bulgaria and Romania, both members of the NATO Alliance, it is emphasized in the press release.

SNMG 1 is comprised of the Spanish frigate, Adm Juan de Borbon, the German frigate, FGS Lubeck, the US frigate, USS Taylor and the Polish frigate, ORP General K Pulaski. (Black Sea Press)

Foreign Minister of Armenia to hold talks in Tbilisi

This week the Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian will hold talks in Tbilisi with representatives of the Georgian authorities. He will arrive in the capital of Georgia on September 12.

“Georgia is our neighbour, and not only our partner on issues of transport and communication. We consider our relations in this perspective,” Nalbandian stated in Yerevan prior to his visit.

He noted that the situation of the Armenian population in Samtsklhe-Javakheti was among the issues that were to be discussed. “The Armenians residing in Javakheti are always discussed during the visits of Armenian leaders to Georgia”, Nalbandian noted. (Black Sea Press)

EU Monitoring Group of 100 to work in Samegrelo

A European Union monitoring group comprising 100 people will be sent to the Samegrelo Region of Western Georgia, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti Governor Zaza Gorozia told journalists on Thursday after meeting members of the EU mission.

“During the talk we touched upon technical problems connected with the arrival of the group at the end of September. In Samegrelo they will have two offices, in Zugdidi and Poti”, Gorozia said.

The EU delegation was also informed on the situation in the region after the actions of Russian troops there. The conditions under which the group would work were discussed. The Governor said that 50 persons will be permanently based in Zugdidi.

The EU mission was also interested in the details of talks being held with the Russian side. The Governor presented its members with video and photo materials on Russia’s invasion in August. According to the Governor, the EU representatives have not so far been permitted to enter the territory of Abkhazia to familiarize themselves with the situation there. (Black Sea Press)