OSCE Chairman calls for a halt to all military action, re-establishment of contact in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict

The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb, today urged an end to all military action in the zone of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict.

"The intense fighting in the South Ossetian conflict zone risks escalation into a full-fledged war. War would have a devastating impact for the entire region. I urge the Georgians, South Ossetians and Russians to cease fire, end military action and stop further escalation," he said. "We need to pull back from the brink of a full-fledged war. "

Stubb said he was in contact with Tbilisi and Tskhinvali as well as all international actors involved in resolving the conflict.

"The international community needs to act together to prevent a full-fledged war. I am in constant contact with my colleagues in the European Union and the United States. I have also called for restraint in the Russian reaction," he said.

"I condemn the shelling of the OSCE Mission premises in Tskhinvali. The OSCE Mission to Georgia is intensively working with all parties to defuse tensions. The Mission's work and mandate must be respected by all parties in the conflict. I am ready to increase the number of OSCE observers as soon as the situation allows."

The Minister said the Special Envoy of the Chairman-in-Office, Ambassador Heikki Talvitie, would travel to Georgia immediately. Other immediate steps include an extraordinary Permanent Council meeting in Vienna today. The Chairman-in-Office is planning to visit Georgia in the very near future.

[Source: OSCE, Helsinki, 08Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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