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Allies adopt declaration in support of Georgia at OSCE ministerial

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, December 12
The Group of Friends of Georgia within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) adopted a declaration on the conflict of 2008, supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and calling on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.

The declaration was adopted at the 23rd OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg, Germany on December 10.

This is the first time such declaration has been adopted since the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia and it will become a part of the package of the OSCE Ministerial Council documents.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that the Group of Friends expressed its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

Moreover, the friendly countries express support for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, on the basis of the United Nations (UN) Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, the international norms and principles.

The declaration highlights the difficult humanitarian situation in the occupied territories of Georgia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - especially the discrimination of the ethnic Georgian population.

The Group of Friends calls on Russia to reverse its recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions and to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied territories.

The also emphasizes the need for the creation of an international mechanism in the occupied territories, which would provide security and stability.

Furthermore, the document focuses on human rights violations in the occupied territories and the importance of achieving progress in terms of non-use of power and the Geneva talks. It also stresses issues of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The Group of Friends calls on OSCE member states to achieve an agreement on restoration of OSCE mission to Georgia.

“The Group of Friends of Georgia calls on Russia to support peaceful regulation of the conflict…As the Russian Federation is a conflict side and a member of OSCE, where all decisions are based on consensus, it had always been impossible to adopt a common document,” Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Mikheil Janelidze, stated.