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Greek FM Postpones Georgia Visit
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Feb.'09 / 18:50

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Greek Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoyannis, has postponed visit to Georgia scheduled for February 12.

“She has changed her plans and she told me that she would continue working on the document,” Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, told journalists on February 11.

Vashadze was referring to the document proposed by Greece on continued presence of OSCE mission in Georgia. In December Russia has blocked extension of the 16-year-old OSCE mission’s mandate in Georgia. Russia wants a separate, independent OSCE mission in Tskhinvali and it refuses to accept any linkage between the OSCE activities in South Ossetia and the rest of Georgia, because Moscow has recognized the independence of the breakaway region.

The Greek proposal has not been made public; Dora Bakoyannis, however, said after talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow on January 21, that set of proposals did not cross “red lines” of any parties involved.

Grigol Vashadze also said on February 11, that the Greek Foreign Minister might visit Georgia in early March.

Vashadze was speaking with journalists after meeting with his Dutch counterpart, Maxime Verhagen in Tbilisi and the Georgian Foreign Minister had to comment on his Greek counterpart’s rescheduled visit only after the Dutch Foreign Minister announced about it during the press conference.

“I deplore that the visit of OSCE Chairperson had to be rescheduled, because she is also as Chairperson-in-Office at this moment discussing possibility to further deploy OSCE mission for forthcoming period after the mandate has finished,” Maxime Verhagen said at a joint news conference with his Georgian counterpart.

The Dutch Foreign Minister said that there was need for international monitors, including from OSCE and EU to be deployed inside the breakaway regions.

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