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OSCE Concerned over Increased Tensions
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 1 May.'08 / 12:43

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office has warned that recent developments in Abkhazia were fuelling tension in the region.

“The latest events, including the decision of the Russian Federation to establish official ties with Georgia's breakaway regions, the shooting down of a Georgian unmanned aerial vehicle over Abkhazia, Georgia, on 20 April, and the recent military build-up have considerably increased tension in the region,” the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, said on April 30.

The OSCE press office said that the organization was addressing the situation in Georgia as “a priority issue.”

The OSCE Permanent Council debated recent developments at a session in Vienna on April 30 and the OSCE's Forum for Security Co-operation discussed the drone downing incident.

“I welcome the proposal for a UN-led joint fact-finding group to investigate the incident. The OSCE fully supports UNOMIG's efforts,” Stubb said.

The Chairman-in-Office also spoke on April 30 on the phone with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and urged them to avoid any further escalation and defuse tensions through dialogue and confidence-building measures.

“All parties should refrain from unilateral measures and threats to use military force. I appeal to the parties to re-engage in negotiations aimed at a peaceful resolution of the conflicts,” the Finnish Foreign Minister said.

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