International presence in Georgia praised

VIENNA, May 28 (UPI) -- A top EU official said Thursday in order to ensure the future of security in Georgia an ongoing international monitoring presence in critical.

Ambassador Peter Semneby, EU special representative for the South Caucasus, addressed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Thursday in Vienna and called the United Nations and the OSCE missions in Georgia essential for the country's stability, the OSCE reported.


The United Nations and the OSCE have been monitoring the volatile border areas separating Georgia and the country's separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions following the violent August 2008 conflict with Russia. Despite a fragile security situation in the country, discussions on the future of the OSCE presence in Georgia were recently suspended because of ongoing disagreements among OSCE member countries.

"The EU has long advocated the continuation of an OSCE monitoring presence in Georgia and hopes that, even now, when discussions have been suspended, that there will be a way to maintain such an important presence on the ground," Semneby said in a statement.

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