France to submit new UN draft on Georgia-Russia peace

14th August 2008, Comments 0 comments

France will introduce a new draft resolution on the Caucasus conflict in the UN Security Council to incorporate the peace plan agreed by Russia and Georgia.

14 August 2008

UNITED NATIONS - France will soon introduce a new draft resolution on the Caucasus conflict in the UN Security Council to incorporate the peace plan agreed by Russia and Georgia, Belgium's UN Ambassador said Wednesday.

Jan Grauls, who chairs the 15-member Council this month, told reporters the French delegation was holding bilateral talks with other council members to amend the draft it circulated Monday and which called for an immediate truce and respect for Georgia's territorial integrity.

He said the text needed to be amended to incorporate the peace deal brokered French President Nicolas Sarkozy on behalf of the European Union to end hostilities between Russia and Georgia.

The French sponsors "will come up with a new draft on the basis of the Sarkozy plan ... very soon," Grauls said.

"This is a very positive development because it indicates that the military logic which prevails until last weekend has now given way to a political logic, a diplomatic logic."

He also welcomed what he called a "good and strong statement" by UN chief Ban Ki-moon in which the latter restated his backing for Georgia's territorial integrity.

Ban also said the United Nations stood ready "to facilitate international discussions as well as to contribute to possible peacekeeping or other arrangements for Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

The Sarkozy plan includes a commitment not to resort to force, to end hostilities definitively and to provide free access for humanitarian aid.

Georgian military forces are also to withdraw to their usual bases while Russian military forces are to pull back to the lines held prior to the outbreak of hostilities. Pending an international mechanism, Russian peacekeeping forces will implement additional security measures.

Finally, international talks are to open on the security and stability arrangements in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two Moscow-backed Georgian breakaway enclaves.

On Wednesday, Sarkozy said his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev had pledged to honour the six-point peace deal.

Russian troops and armour rolled into Georgia's South Ossetia region Friday in response to a Georgian bid to regain control of the renegade region which broke from Tbilisi in the early 1990s.

[AFP / Expatica]

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