Dec 1, 2010

Saakashvili addressed OSCE Summit in Astana

IDPs should return to their homes, conflict should be settled in a peaceful way and Georgia`s occupation should finish, - these were the main messages of the Georgian President when delivering a speech at the OSCE Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

"35 years ago the Helsinki Final Act marked a fundamental shift in the history of the international relations, by affirming its set of principles to bind behaviour of states. This included inviolability of borders, the peaceful settlement of disputes in territorial integrity of states, the respect of international law and human rights.

"Unfortunately, over three decades later, these principles are still being violated within the OSCE area.

"11 years ago, at the summit in Istanbul we witnessed adoption of another set of fundamental principles abided in the Istanbul Summit Declaration and Charter for European Security.

"Unfortunately, the time, has changed, the mood has changed and Russia re-nicked on the obligations it took in Istanbul. Increased the size of its forces illegally stationed within our internationally recognized borders.

"Today more than 12 thousand heavily armed troops enforce the Russian occupation of 20% of the Georgian territory with tanks, with missiles, with heavy artillery. This is a violation of Helsinki principles and teh Istanbul declaration, the international law and August 12, 2008.

"We all agree today that human dimensions are prerequisite for comprehensive and indivisible security. But in our case the human dimension commitments have been violated as well. In 1994 and 1996, the OSCE summits in Budapest and Lisbon condemned the ethnic cleansing in Georgia and called for save dignifies of Georgian refugees and IDPs, ethnicities, their fate, their political views.

"Human rights continue to be violated on a daily basis in our occupied regions. The OSCE has report on this many times within the last two years, as you all know very well.

"These facts, ladies and gentlemen, might not be ignored or overlooked and previous OSCE agreements must be fulfilled.

"I came here with a message of hope and a profound commitment to help in leading to positive change in our conflict, restoring Georgia`s territorial integrity in the only peaceful means and its quest for de-occupation and the unification of its territory.

"Even if teh Russian Federation refuses to withdraw the occupation forces; if less than 20% of the population remains in the occupied territory and the rest 80% does not return.; if their supporter separatists continue to violate human rights, Georgia only keeps right to self-defence in case of new intrusion and occupation of Georgian-controlled territory. We have pledged this, as we believe that peace is the only way to achieve our legitimate goal", Saakashvili said.