Georgia welcomed a resolution passed by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on November 16 in particular the part of the document, which refers to Abkhazia and South Ossetia as "occupied territories".
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which unites lawmakers from the alliance member states and associate delegates from NATO partner countries, including from Georgia and Russia, adopted at its session in Warsaw on November 16 a non-binding resolution on the situation in Georgia.
The resolution says that the Assembly is "deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in Georgia ’s occupied territories" and "urges" Moscow, as well as Sokhumi and Tskhinvali "to reverse the results of what has been described as ethnic cleansing by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia as well as by other international documents."
These two issues - mentioning of "occupied territories" and "ethnic cleansing" - were the focus of the Georgian senior officials while praising the resolution. President Saakashvili said just few hours before the document was passed, that Russia was sparing no efforts to lobby against mentioning of these issues in the resolution.
Georgian Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze, who led the Georgian delegation at the Assembly, said in a live interview with Rustavi 2 TV after the resolution was passed, that it was "yet another political blow for Russia".
Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze, who convened a news conference shortly after the resolution was passed said, that it was for the first time when Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were referred by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly as occupied territories.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly in a declaration passed in November, 2008, three months after Georgia-Russia war, condemned “disproportionate use of force” by Russia and "the occupation of Georgian territory by Russian forces", as well as "the ethnic cleansing of Georgians from South Ossetia".
In the recent resolution, the Assembly welcomed Russian troops withdrawal from the village of Perevi, but expressed concern on "the ongoing tightening by Russian FSB Border Troops of procedures for crossing" the administrative borders of the breakaway regions.
It also says that the Assembly is "deeply concerned" about Russia's "failure to withdraw to the positions it held before the conflict", as envisaged by the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement.
The resolution welcomes Georgia's strategy on occupied territories and its action plan and calls on NATO to reaffirm the Bucharest Summit declaration that Georgia will become a member of the alliance.
Georgian officials said, that the document, although non-binding, was significant as it would set a tone ahead of the NATO Lisbon summit.
The NATO Parliamentary Assembly resolution on Georgia also raises issues related to constitutional and democratic reforms.