Yesterday in Vienna, the OSCE participating states failed to reach agreement on the future of the OSCE Mission to Georgia. The Mission will thus end on 31 December 2008.
Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (23 December) in Berlin:
"I very much regret that it was not possible to agree on an extended mandate for the OSCE Mission to Georgia. The OSCE Mission to Georgia makes a significant contribution to stabilizing Georgia and monitoring the ceasefire agreements. The Mission also supports the country in its reforms to promote democracy and the rule of law.
I would like to thank my Finnish counterpart Alexander Stubb, who as OSCE Chairman-in-Office put forward a very good compromise for extending the mandate. The Federal Government will work together with the incoming Greek Chairmanship to ensure a continuation of the OSCE's engagement throughout Georgia.
The OSCE will still have an important role to play with respect to the Georgian conflict, not least as co-chair of the Geneva talks, but also through institutions such as the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the High Commissioner on National Minorities."