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Georgia: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the progress of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia, with particular regard to EU monitors’ access to Abkhazia and South Ossetia; and if he will make a statement. (234050)

The 8 September agreement required the EU to deploy at least 200 monitors by 1 October. The UK has provided 19 monitors plus three headquarters staff and four armoured cars to the mission, which now comprises 225 monitors. Monitoring is being focused on troop activity and withdrawal, public order, freedom of movement, and violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

The EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) has been patrolling on a daily basis since 1 October. We receive regular updates on EUMM from headquarters in Tbilisi and via Brussels. The Head of the EU Mission, Hansjorg Haber, is responsible for decisions on where in Georgia monitors should patrol. We understand that a number of monitors have had limited access to South Ossetia and to Abkhazia. Our view is that access to these regions, when security conditions permit, is necessary for the EUMM to fulfil its mandate in full.