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Proposals on Incident Prevention Agreed at Geneva Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Feb.'09 / 00:11

Parties into the Geneva talks agreed on “proposals for joint incident prevention and response mechanisms” after two days of negotiations on February 18, co-mediators said.

In a joint statement, the three mediators – EU, OSCE and UN - said the talks had produced by consensus "proposals for joint incident prevention and response mechanisms."

It said the mechanisms would allow for regular weekly meetings – or more frequently if needed – “between structures responsible for security and public order in areas of tension and relevant international organizations.” A 24-hour hotline will also be established.

The parties have also “agreed joint visits may be conducted” in the areas of concern.

The actual text of the “proposals” agreed by the parties was not immediately available for Civil.Ge.

Greek OSCE chairmanship’s special envoy, Charalampos Christopoulos, said the deal was “a vital step forward.” UN’s special envoy, Johan Verbeke, said it was "a significant first agreement” and Pierre Morel, EU’s special representatives for Georgia crisis, said: “We consider that the proposals agreed by consensus are an important stage in contributing to stability and security.”

Giga Bokeria, the Georgia’s first deputy foreign minister, welcomed the agreement as “a good step in the right direction,” but also added that “it is not a breakthrough.”

“Now Russia’s political will is needed to implement reached agreements,” Bokeria said.

“The document has been accepted; it is important document,” Grigory Karasin, the Russian deputy foreign minister, told journalists after the talks. “It was not easy to agree on the document; now it is important to start its actual implementation. We are ready to implement all the reached agreements.”

"They are not self-executing documents.  Putting them into effect will depend on good will on all sides and we’ll have to see whether the good will that existed today in sufficient quantity to reach this achievement continues, particularly on the ground," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State, Daniel Fried, said after the talks.

Although it has been agreed to hold the next, fifth round of talks in Geneva sometime in spring, an exact date has yet to be defined.

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