OSCE Presence in Georgia

Press Statement
Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 15, 2009

The United States deeply regrets that consensus could not be reached on the Greek OSCE Chairmanship’s proposal for an OSCE Office in Tbilisi and monitoring mission in Georgia. For several months, the Greek Chair tirelessly pursued a compromise proposal that would avoid any pronouncement on South Ossetia’s political or legal status. Unfortunately, Russia insisted on a monitoring operation structured to reflect Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia’s independence. We commend the Georgian delegation for its constructive approach, and are disappointed that Russia could not accept the Greek Chairmanship’s constructive, status-neutral solution. We believe a monitoring presence in Georgia remains essential, and hope Russia, which has acknowledged a need for monitors, will eventually accept Greece’s reasonable and balanced proposal. We will continue our efforts to ensure an international presence throughout all of Georgia to address security, humanitarian, and human rights concerns. We reiterate our unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

PRN: 2009/466