TBILISI, 10 July 2012 - Furthering OSCE’s engagement with Georgia was high on the agenda of OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier’s official visit to the country, which concludes today.
The Secretary General met in Tbilisi with Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze and representatives of opposition parties.
During a press conference following the meeting with the Foreign Minister, Zannier stressed the OSCE’s commitment to continuing and deepening the OSCE’s work with Georgia.
“Establishing an OSCE presence on the ground or setting up other mechanisms for deepening our engagement in Georgia would strengthen the role and effectiveness of the OSCE in the Geneva Discussions and in the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, as well as benefit the people of the country by promoting democratic reforms,” he said.
The Geneva International Discussions, launched after the August 2008 conflict in Georgia, are co-chaired by the OSCE, EU and UN, and bring together representatives of Georgia, the Russian Federation, the United States, Tskhinvali and Sukhumi. The establishment of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) was one of their outcomes.
The Secretary General said the Geneva International Discussions were “the only agreed format where all stakeholders are represented”. He praised the practical actions discussed and agreed in the Ergneti IPRM co-facilitated by the OSCE and the EU Monitoring Mission, such as efforts made towards improving the security of farmers along the administrative boundary line, facilitating the release of detainees, as well as potable and irrigation water projects for conflict-affected communities.
Referring to the parliamentary elections in October, to which the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights recommended deploying short- and long-term observers, Zannier said that he hoped the elections would be in line with the OSCE and international standards.
Later today Zannier will meet the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia David Bakradze, and the State Minister for Reintegration Eka Tkeshelashvili in Batumi.
Tomorrow the Secretary General will travel to Yerevan where he will hold meetings on 11 and 12 July.