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OSCE Special Representative welcomes Moscow meeting on Transdniestria

OSCE Special Representative welcomes Moscow meeting on Transdniestria

The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office's Special Representative, Ambassador Charalampos Christopoulos, said he welcomed today's agreement in Moscow to accelerate the negotiations within the 5+2 format.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Transdniestria's leader Igor Smirnov signed a joint declaration today, in which they agree to continue efforts to renew work on the Transdniestrian settlement process in the 5+2 format. The declaration also mentioned a new peacekeeping operation under the aegis of the OSCE could be established after settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict.

"We welcome the willingness of the Parties to accelerate the negotiation process and look forward to a renewal of the negotiations in the 5+2 format in the first half of this year, as stated in the declaration," Christopoulos said.

He said that he acknowledges the willingness of the Russian Federation to organize today's meeting in order to reinvigorate the 5+2 process as well as the work of expert groups for elaborating confidence-building measures. He noted the OSCE and its Mission to Moldova have been actively involved in seeking a settlement for many years.

"Should there be a request to turn the existing peacekeeping force into an OSCE peace-guaranteeing operation, the OSCE Chairmanship stands ready to take such a request to the Organization's 56 participating States at its Permanent Council in Vienna," Christopoulos said. The Permanent Council is an OSCE decision-making body, where decisions are reached by consensus.

Christopoulos was in Chisinau and Tiraspol at the end of February when he worked with both sides and looked for ways and opportunities to restart the settlement process in the 5+2 format and to support the work of the Joint Expert Groups on Confidence Building Measures.

The 5+2 group comprises Moldova, Transdniestria, Russia, Ukraine and the OSCE, and observers from the European Union and the United States.


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