Saturday, September 06, 2008

EU wants truth about Ossetian war
Russia Today, 6 September 2008

EU Foreign Ministers are calling for an international inquest into identifying who was responsible for starting the conflict in South Ossetia.

They made the statement in the French city of Avignon, where they have gathered for an informal meeting.

The ministers said the EU needed to re-evaluate its foreign policy, particularly in relation to Washington. French FM Bernard Kouchner said U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was not America’s best ambassador

"The very fact that Americans didn't find anything else to support their failed ally - Mr. Saakashvili - other than sending Mr. Cheney to the region, who is incredibly unpopular in the world, who is associated with the war in Iraq, with all these neo-conservative, black-and-white visions of the world, who was accused of corruption - remember the Halliburton affair in Iraq. And if they wanted, if the Bush administration really wanted to consolidate the international community behind the United States in criticising Russia, I think they should find somebody else and not send Mr. Cheney," Kouchner said.

He also said the European Union should develop a joint approach to Russia.

"We have to be together. The U.S. have their own views, but we are living close to Russia. We need to develop our own policy, a neighbouring policy. We have to talk about our views of being close to Russia, a great country, a partner," he said.

The ministers are also debating when and under what terms civilian monitors will be sent to Georgia. EU is about to send 700 observers to the region.

A discussion on delivering humanitarian aid and restoring Georgia’s economy is also on the agenda.

The meeting comes just four days after an emergency summit in Brussels, at which EU leaders denounced Russia's recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

To watch the full press-conference of French FM, Bernard Kouchner, and other EU foreign ministers, please follow link.

International parliamentarians visit South Ossetia

Meanwhile, an international parliamentary delegation is already in South Ossetia. The main goal of the trip is to clarify the sequence of recent events in the region.

The group consists of members of parliament and public representatives from several European and CIS countries.

They will be joined by a delegation from Russia.

The officials will meet local residents, before heading to the neighbouring republic of North Ossetia, which hosted large numbers of refugees after the conflict.

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