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Deputy Foreign Minister: Italy fully supports Georgia’s territorial integrity

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, October 20
The First Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Davit Zalkaliani, commented on the recent “visit” of de facto South Ossetia’s Foreign Minister Dmitry Medoev to Italy, saying it was only an individual initiative and not an official visit.

Zalkaliani stated that there is no threat to the recognition of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Italy.

“It should be noted that Georgia enjoys Italy’s official support in terms of its territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Deputy Minister said on Thursday.

Zalkaliani added that the Italian government gives Georgia a permanent guarantee that they will never officially respond to the facts and offer no prospect to establish any official contacts with the breakaway regime representatives.

The news agency of Georgia’s Russian-occupied region of South Ossetia, PEC, reports that Dmitry Medoev has taken part in a number of events as part of his “working visit” to Italy and has held a series of meetings with representatives of political and cultural circles this week.

The article reads that Medoev also attended the exhibition of South Ossetian artists’ "Colors of the Caucasus" in the Gallery of Contemporary Art Alexander Museum Palace in Pesaro.

“The Minister noted the importance of further strengthening the cultural ties between South Ossetia and Italy, allowing the people to get to know each other better…in addition to Italy, South Ossetian diplomats are establishing many-sided contacts with a number of other states too,” PEC reports.

According to PEC, Medoev discussed prospects of bilateral cooperation with the deputies of the Republic of San Marino.

“The minister met with Alessandro Bevitori, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the Parliament of the Republic of San Marino, and a group of MPs from the majority party in the San Marino Parliament - the left-wing Social Democrats,” PEC reports.

The media also says that the de facto Minister met with former Member of the European Parliament, Italian journalist, former Russia Today commentator and lecturer Giulietto Chiesa, who was declared as an “official representative of South Ossetia in European Parliament” by the de facto authorities during his recent visit to Georgia’s breakaway region on September 19.

During his visit, in September Chiesa stated that he wanted to organize a speech of de facto South Ossetian President to Brussels. However, his plans were met with suspicion from the side of diplomatic corps and Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs at that time.

“We are sure that private individuals affiliated with Russia will not be able to use the platform of international organizations for their narrow political goals and will not be able to spread a propaganda of occupational regimes in such formats,” Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated back then.

The US Ambassador Ian Kelly also resonated the statement by stressing: “It’s very simple - neither the US nor any member of the EU recognizes the independence of South Ossetia. In fact, you can count on one hand how many countries recognize the independence of South Ossetia and none of them are in the EU or near Europe,” Ambassador Kelly said on September 20.

The Russian Federation recognized the independence of Georgia’s separatist regions - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - after the August 2008 war, which left 20 percent of Georgia’s territories occupied by its northern neighbor. Along with Russia, Nauru, Nicaragua and Venezuela are the only states in the world that recognize the sovereignty of the occupied regions.