EU extended on Thursday mandate of its monitoring mission in Georgia for another year, till September 14, 2013, saying the mission "has made a vital contribution to security and stability" on the ground.
The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), which was established after the August, 2008 war to monitor ceasefire, has around 200 unarmed monitors in Georgia. EUR 20.9 million has been allocated for the mission for next twelve months.
"The EU Monitoring Mission has made a vital contribution to security and stability in Georgia and the region over the past four years," EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said in a statement on September 13. "I welcome the extension of its mandate for another year which will allow the mission to continue its efforts towards improving the daily lives of conflict-affected communities,"
EU has called on all the participants of Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) to work on resumption of IPRM Gali meetings, which last time was held in March.
IPRM, a framework established within the Geneva talks, which also involves a hotline to facilitate prompt exchange of information, served as a venue for regular meetings between the Georgian and Abkhaz officials, as well as representatives of the Russian forces in presence of EUMM and UN representatives. A similar mechanism operates on the South Ossetian direction too with participation of OSCE representative.
IPRM on the Abkhaz direction, which was usually held in Gali once in a month, has not been held after Sokhumi denounced in April head of EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia, Andrzej Tyszkiewicz, as “undesirable person on the Abkhaz territory”; Sokhumi accused Tyszkiewicz of "disrespect" towards the Abkhaz side by demanding in an "insulting" tone to allow EUMM into Abkhazia. Sokhumi says it will only resume its participation in Gali IPRM meetings if EUMM is represented at the meeting by representatives other than its head.
Tyszkiewicz, a retired lieutenant general of the Polish armed forces, was appointed as head of EUMM in July, 2011, replacing German diplomat Hansjörg Haber, who led EUMM from the very establishment of the mission in October, 2008.
The European Union called on Russia once again on September 13 to "to fulfil its obligations under the six-point ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 and its implementing measures of 8 September 2008".