Irish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Eamon Gilmore, said addressing conflicts in OSCE area would be among the priorities of his country’s chairmanship of the organization with 56 member states.
Gilmore, the new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, said while outlining his country’s chairmanship priorities to the organization’s Permanent Council in Vienna on January 12, that Ireland would “seek ways in which progress can be made towards lasting settlements of a number of conflicts in the OSCE area”, including to the conflicts “in Georgia regarding the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”
“The situation in Georgia is a matter of particular concern,” the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, adding that Ireland “strongly supports” the Geneva discussions – talks launched after the August war and co-chaired by EU, OSCE and UN.
Irish diplomat Pádraig Murphy, whose country took over OSCE chairmanship from Lithuania, has become a new co-chair of the Geneva talks from OSCE. The next, nineteenth round of Geneva talks are scheduled for March 28-29.
In his address Eamon Gilmore also said that he would be determined to pursue the OSCE principles and aims “in a balanced and pragmatic manner.”
He said that experience of achieving a lasting settlement in Northern Ireland “may be of benefit in facilitating the efforts which are needed to resolve outstanding conflicts in the OSCE Region.”
Among the Irish OSCE chairmanship’s top priorities Gilmore named prioritizing the organization’s human dimension, making focus on internet freedom.
OSCE had its mission in Georgia, including a field office till August war in capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali; the mission, however, had to wrap-up its presence in Georgia in 2009 after Russia, member of the OSCE, whose decision-making process requires a consensus of all of its member states, blocked extension of the mission’s mandate.