Germany supports the French EU Council Presidency in its future approach to the Caucasus conflict. Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier stated this today (14 September) during a telephone conversation with Bernard Kouchner, his French counterpart, before the meeting of the External Relations Council.
"The withdrawal of Russian troops from the Poti-Senaki Line is an important move towards the realization of the Six Point Plan. With this disengagement, the first step is taken towards the troop-withdrawals which were agreed between the EU, Russia and Georgia on 8 September. I firmly call upon everyone concerned also to meet the further agreements. It is only by doing so that can we successfully bring stability and peace back to the region.
I am in agreement with the French Council Presidency: The EU will honour the pledges it has made. We have resolved to launch the EU observer mission as soon as possible. The speed and intensity with which this mission has been prepared in the past week make me optimistic of success. Such a decision during the upcoming External Relations Council meeting would be a significant sign of the cohesion and effectiveness of the EU in the Georgian conflict.
The EU is determined to fulfil its role in bringing lasting stability to the Caucasus. The deployment of the EU observer mission is just the first step towards achieving this goal. We shall be actively involved in the negotiations between the parties to the conflict which begin on 15 October in Geneva through an EU Special Representative for Georgia.
Moreover it remains important that the causes for the escalation in the violence at the beginning of August be investigated by an independent commission."