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EUMM visited by NATO delegation

On Wednesday 6 May, a NATO delegation visited the headquarters of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM).  The large delegation of 13 Members had representatives from the Sub-Committee on NATO partnerships, while the participating Members came from the following NATO Countries: Germany, UK, Poland, Portugal, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Romania.

The delegation was briefed by the Head of Mission (HoM), Hansjörg Haber, the Deputy of Chief Operations (OPS) and the Military Liaison Officer on EUMM’s activities and challenges on the ground. Deputy OPS stressed the work to implement the Mission’s mandate on normalisation, stabilisation and confidence building measures. He highlighted the efforts made to build regular contacts with all sides of the conflict. The confidence building efforts made by EUMM include monitoring all check points as well as the ongoing situation of the Georgian police and the special police force units. A very important step forward was the signing in January of the Memorandum of Understanding with the Georgian Ministry of Defence. The Military Adviser explained the details of this MoU and how it is implemented on the ground.

The HoM stressed the continuing cooperation between the three International Organizations on the field, namely, the UN, the OSCE and the EUMM. However, he also stated that EUMM’s main concern is the security situation in Georgia and he noted the positive Georgian attitude towards the EUMM.

However, the incidents happening along the administrative boundary lines remain one of EUMM’s main concerns. Unfortunately, often, there is no clear evidence as to who is responsible. The EUMM has to rely on information from local people as well as the Georgian police and Government Ministries. Therefore, EUMM would like to have the opportunity to gather more details from the authorities on both sides of the administrative boundary lines through an effective incident prevention mechanism.

The NATO Delegation asked several questions about possible Russian non-compliance with the Six Point Agreement, on possible EU enlargement and its global reach, about the most recent events which were taking place in Georgia and how these affected the work of the EUMM. They also asked about the various counterparts in Brussels to whom EUMM reported, on the takeover by the Russians of border controls, on the development of the EUMM mandate, and questioned if part of the EUMM’s is to prevent the Georgians from resuming the conflict. Other issues raised included the cost of the EUMM and the possible transfer to the EUMM of the tasks currently carried out by the OSCE and EUMM’s relationship with UNOMIG. The NATO team stressed once more the cooperation that NATO wants to have with EUMM and acknowledged and praised the work of the Mission.

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