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Incident Prevention Meeting was “positive” and a “step forward”, says EUMM Head of Mission Haber

29.05.2009

The continuation of talks under the Geneva agreed Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) took place on Friday, 29 May, in Dvani, with representatives from the Georgian, Russian and de facto South Ossetian authorities. The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) and the OSCE acted as fascilitators.

The EUMM Head of Mission, Ambassador Hansjörg Haber, commented afterwards:
“This was a very positive meeting. I think it represented a step forward because we were able to talk about substance. We raised concrete topics that need to be resolved along the administrative boundary lines, including our suggestion about access to cemeteries and places of worship for people on both sides of the administrative boundary lines. We also discussed the concerns of those people who want to raise their cattle on the other side or tend to their fields and must be assured of the possibility to go there and return in safety. The question of the provision of gas to Akhalgori was also raised, and I think the bottom-line was that all sides realised the opportunity of these talks to solve practical issues on the ground.”

The meeting, however, could not resolve all procedural difficulties, such as the question of chairmanship or the location of further meetings. Nonetheless, the parties agreed on a tentative date for a new meeting: 11 June. Ambassador Haber said:
“We don’t have complete certainty over the next meeting, but we have motivation from all the parties to continue this exercise. This will help us to overcome the procedural difficulties. … I hope we don’t need another input from Geneva to continue the process, but that we can go on under our own steam.”