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Greece to work to save OSCE Georgia mission

 The new Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis speaks during a ...

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The new Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSCE, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis speaks during a ...

Greece will "spare no effort" to ease Russian resistance and prevent the departure of a group of international monitors from Georgia, the Greek foreign minister said Thursday.
Greece took over the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Jan. 1. and now faces the delicate task of brokering a deal that would save the mission. Its mandate expired at the end of last year after Russia blocked efforts to prolong it.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, speaking to reporters at the OSCE's Vienna headquarters, said Greece had put forward a draft proposal to break the impasse. She declined to provide more details.
The OSCE mission, made up of about 200 local and foreign staff, includes unarmed military monitors and also works on human rights, economic, environmental, good governance and media freedom issues.
"We will spare no effort in keeping our mission there. ... I think everybody agrees that it is needed," Bakoyannis said, adding she was slated to visit Moscow later this month.
Talks on extending the mission's mandate collapsed last month when Russia demanded that the OSCE join Moscow in recognizing the statehood of the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moscow recognized both provinces as independent last year, shortly after skirmishes over South Ossetia flared into a war, during which Russia swiftly crushed Georgian forces.
Since the Vienna-based OSCE operates by consensus, any one of its 56 members can block action.
In a speech to the group earlier Thursday, Bakoyannis appealed for cooperation among members.
"The OSCE has a long tradition of imaginative and flexible solutions, but these can only work if there is goodwill and political courage on all sides," Bakoyannis said. "I appeal to you today to show such will and courage."
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On the Net:
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Updated : 2021-04-23 04:38 GMT+08:00