South Ossetia makes contacts w/Abkhazia, Transdnestr, NK permanent

July 22 2004

South Ossetia makes contacts with Abkhazia, Transdnestr,
Nagorno-Karabakh permanent

MOSCOW/TSKHINVALI. July 22 (Interfax) – The South Ossetian Foreign
Ministry has made permanent contacts with the foreign ministries of
other unrecognized republics, Abkhazia, the Transdnestr Moldovan
Republic and Nagorno-Karabakh, due to the escalating tension in the
Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone.

“We need regular contacts to supply the public with objective
information about the developments in Tskhinvali and to gain military
support if necessary,” South Ossetian Foreign Minister Murad Jioyev
told Interfax by telephone on Thursday.

“Nearly all volunteers, who had came to South Ossetia, left but they
would return as need be,” he said. “I must stress though that
Tskhinvali wants a peaceful settlement of the crisis and is ready to
continue negotiations.”

“OSCE intermediaries in the conflict zone should be more active and
objective,” he said. “The OSCE pays almost no attention to our
statements on the Georgian breach of agreements.”

South Ossetian representatives may soon meet with head of the OSCE
Mission in Georgia Roy Reeve, the minister said.

South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) and Abkhazia (Sukhumi) are de jure
provinces of Georgia, which gained de facto independence from Georgia
(Tbilisi) in the 1990s. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is
urging Abkhazia and South Ossetia to restore state relations, but
they have been declining the offer. Nevertheless Saakashvili pledges
that his victory over the separatist leader of Ajaria will be
followed by regained control of two breakaway provinces.

Nagorno-Karabakh and Transdnestr are also self- proclaimed republics.
Azerbaijan lost control of Nagorno-Karabakh in a fierce conflict with
Armenia, and Moldova lost control of Transdnestr in the 1990s. <>