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World Leaders express support for Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, October 26
Participants of the Francophone Summit in Montreux adopted a resolution reiterating support for Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, the Georgian President’s administration reported on Monday. According to the President’s press service, the resolution calls for the continuation of the Geneva talks, supports the recently adopted resolution of the UN General Assembly for the safe and dignified return of IDPs to their homes in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and calls on Russia to meet its commitments under August 12, 2008 agreement,.

President Mikheil Saakashvili participated in the summit in Switzerland held on October 23-24. As part of the summit the President met his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy as well as leaders of Cameroon, the Dominican Republic and Finland, the Georgian Foreign Ministry reported on Monday. “The sides discussed the issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia, Nino Kalandadze said at Monday’s usual press briefing, noting, “The communique adopted at the Francophone Summit was better than the previous one adopted last year.”

Meanwhile summary meetings of the OSCE Summit preparatory conference are being held in Vienna, Austria, according to the Georgian Foreign Ministry. The issues of military, political, economic and environment protection are being discussed at the conference, the Deputy Foreign Minister said. At the conference, the Georgian delegation made a speech about Georgia’s vision on the involvement of the OSCE in conflicts resolution issues, Kalandadze stated

“We have a great interest in the OSCE’s to return to Georgia with any mandate and to monitor the situation on Georgia’s occupied territories” the Deputy Foreign Minister noted. “At the same time it is important for the Georgian side that there is monitoring in Georgia’s occupied regions not only for security reasons, but also for economic reasons and environmental protection. OSCE’s participation in conflict regulation is very important and it is a very positive fact that we expressed our position on this matter,” Kalandadze added.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) announced a plan to open a representative office in Georgia next year. Speaking to journalists on Monday, Chief of the ODIHR's Democratic Governance and Participation Unit., Marcin Walecki said ODIHR is planning to start two projects in Georgia: one is opening an office and the other envisages strengthening the participation of women in political processes in Georgia. “Our organisation mainly monitors elections but we are engaged in the process of democratisation of countries and the improvement of the electoral environment as well,” Walencki said at a meeting with Christian-Democratic Movement representatives in the Georgian Parliament on October 25.

The Christian-Democratic Movement leaders presented a package of draft amendments to the Elections Code, worked out by a group of 8 opposition political parties. MP Giorgi Targamadze of the CDM said that ODIHR is showing great interest in Georgia’s Election Code. “Their views on this issue are very important,” the leader of the Christian-Democratic Party told journalists.