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Georgia: Peace Negotiations

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government has taken to encourage a peaceful resolution of the dispute between Russia and Georgia. (225400)

The Government have been in close contact with UN, EU, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), G7, and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) partners, and the parties to the conflict, in the search for a peaceful resolution to the dispute between Russia and Georgia.

On 12 August, the Government supported EU/OSCE efforts which successfully brokered a six-point ceasefire plan between the parties to the conflict. This plan provided the basis for the agreement between Presidents Sarkozy and Medvedev on 8 September of a supplementary set of commitments, and set the context for the decision by EU Foreign Ministers on 15 September to deploy an EU monitoring mission to Georgia by 1 October. The mission deployed by the agreed deadline and is on the ground. The UK has made a significant contribution of 21 personnel and four armoured cars, in addition to earlier immediate humanitarian aid of £2 million.

The Sarkozy/Medvedev agreement, along with the original six-point plan, constitutes a serious set of commitments to the international community, and lays the basis for a lasting and peaceful resolution of the dispute between Russia and Georgia. Under that agreement, talks on security and stability in South Ossetia and Abkhazia will begin in Geneva on 15 October, under EU chairmanship, with UN and OSCE participation. We are pressing the parties to the conflict to abide by their commitments.