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S.Ossetian, Georgian Sides Meet
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Aug.'09 / 18:56

The Georgian and South Ossetian sides held third meeting in frames of incident prevention and response mechanisms with participation of Russian representatives on August 14.

The meeting, facilitated by EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, was held in the village of Dvani on the Georgian side of the administrative border with the breakaway region and was the first one in over two months. The last meeting in this format was held on May 29; since then the Georgian and South Ossetian sides held one ad hoc informal meeting on July 31, but the Russian representatives were not present.

At the August 14 meeting the Georgian side raised a shooting incident, wherein, according to the Georgian Interior Ministry its police post near the village of Dvani came under fire on August 12 from the village of Mugut on the South Ossetian side of the administrative border, south-west from Tskhinvali.

Shota Utiashvili, head of the Georgian Interior Ministry’s information and analysis department, told journalists after the meeting, that during the talks, the South Ossetian side “acknowledged” that shooting took place and pledged to investigate it.

In remarks posted on the breakaway region’s government-run website South Ossetian negotiator, Merab Chigoev, said that “the fact of shooting was confirmed by our Defense Ministry.”

“As no one in South Ossetia is interested in the incidents of this type, we have stated that if shooting really took place from the South Ossetian side, we would take all the necessary measures to find out circumstances of this incident. At the same time we have demanded a similar approach from the Georgian side in respect of those incidents, which take place due to the Georgian side,” Chigoev said.

He also said that at the meeting the South Ossetian side raised the issue of the need to clarify whereabouts of five South Ossetians, which Tskhinvali says, were detained by the Georgian side. Two of them, according to Chigoev, were detained on August 8, 2008 and three – in October, 2008.

The sides agreed to hold next meeting in the same format in early September in the village of Ergneti on the administrative border.

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