The European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia commenced its work today. The EU had pledged on 8 September to deploy a mission of at least 200 monitors by 1 October. On 24 September, the German Cabinet agreed to participate in the Mission and to contribute up to 40 observers.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (1 October):
"I welcome the fact that the European Union Monitoring Mission in Georgia has officially commenced its work today. The European Union has thus lived up to the commitments made on 8 September. Indeed, the willingness of the Member States to participate in this Mission surpassed our expectations.
In just a few short weeks, the European Union has succeeded under difficult circumstances in putting together this far from simple mission. This is not just a considerable logistical achievement – it also proves that the EU is determined to shoulder responsibility in this conflict. With the Monitoring Mission, the EU is making a substantial contribution to stability and security in the Caucasus.
I am now counting on all parties to fulfil their obligations and to fully cooperate with the Mission."