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20 août 2008 - Géorgie : Stakeout de M. Jean Pierre Lacroix, chargé d’affaires a.i.

consultations du Conseil de Sécurité

Good afternoon,

We had very useful discussions today in the Council. We had a briefing given by the Secretariat and also by Ambassador Churkin on the state of affairs regarding the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia.

I think that our assessment based on those information, and based on the elements we

had generally is that there are some encouraging signs of a beginning of a withdrawal. But clearly, there is much to do for the withdrawal to be consistent with the commitment entered into by Russia. So we look forward to this withdrawal being accelerated in the days to come. We will be monitoring the situation very carefully.

I think the second element which we discussed is the kind of modalities whereby some Russian troops will remain in Georgia, South of the administrative border between South Ossetia and Georgia proper, the modalities according to which these Russian forces will remain. On this hand, there are clear elements in the agreement- both in the six points plan and the clarifications laid out in the letter by President Sarkozy to President Saakachvili to which the Russian have subscribed.

And it was interesting to note that Ambassador Churkin said today that Russia does not object to these clarifications. And these elements give together the frame, in a very detailed manner : how, what numbers and where, remaining Russian forces will be authorized to operate after the withdrawal is completed. We do hope that these commitments will be respected by Russia. We asked some questions to Ambassador Churkin regarding this. It raises some concerns in connection with remaining Russian militaries activities in some parts of the Georgian territory. That seems to us clearly the area where, according to commitments, Russian forces will be authorized to remain and carry out additional security measures of the agreement.

The third element was the draft resolution that was circulated yesterday by Russia, and which we discussed today. On this issue, we heard - and I think there was a very encouraging sign - that most members of the Council insisted that the Security Council should be unanimous. This is exactly our position : we have been working for a unanimous resolution, we will continue to work for a unanimous resolution based on the six-point plan. This is an ongoing process, we still have a couple of issues, important issues, to address, for us to reach an agreement.

One of them is territorial integrity. As I said yesterday Georgia has a history in the Security Council, and all previous resolutions of the Security Council on Georgia have reaffirmed the commitment of all members states to sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Georgia.

The second element, which is crucial, addressing the text in a way conducive to consensus, is the modalities whereby Russian forces would remain after the withdrawal, and pending the establishment of an international mechanism. And I am again referring to clarifications put forward in the form of the letter that I referred to. This is also a very important subject.

We need to address these issues and we need to continue working very intensively in order to reach that consensus. We are determined to do that. We have been working very hard with our partners to achieve that goal. There is a lot of work that remains to be done yet but we are ready to do that work.

So this is in this spirit that we will operate in the hours and days to come.

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