EU must be prepared to commit itself, including on the ground to contribute to peaceful and lasting solution of the conflicts in Georgia, the bloc’s foreign ministers said.
EU foreign ministers gathered at an emergency meeting in Brussels on August 13 to discuss the Russia-Georgia conflict and a provisional agreement reached between the two countries through the brokerage of the French EU presidency.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said at a news conference after the meeting that many EU member states were ready to contribute monitors to observer ceasefire on the ground; he, however, said EU wanted UN resolution to be passed at first.
“We are determined to act on the ground,” Reuters quoted Kouchner. “Many countries have said that they are ready to join in… It is difficult to say we are optimistic... but we are encouraged by what we saw this morning, but we have to go through the United Nations.”
“The idea of having monitors – what you call peacekeeping troops, I wouldn't call them like that – but European controllers, monitors, facilitators, yes, yes and yes. That is how Europe should be on the ground,” he added.
Javier Solana, the EU foreign policy chief was tasked with preparing proposals on the matter.
EU foreign ministers released conclusions following the session saying that “a peaceful and lasting solution to the conflict in Georgia must be based on full respect for the principles of independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
EU foreign ministers have also reaffirmed those six principles based on which ceasefire was agreed between Tbilisi and Moscow:
- Not to resort to force;
- To end hostilities definitively;
- To provide free access for humanitarian aid;
- Georgian military forces will have to withdraw to their usual bases;
- Russian military forces will have to withdraw to the lines held prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Pending an international mechanism, Russian peacekeeping forces will implement additional security measures;
- Opening of international talks on the security and stability arrangements in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The foreign ministers have pledged to set up international mechanism “rapidly” and they have also pointed out that “rapid reinforcement of the OSCE's observer capabilities on the ground is crucial.”