Governments 'concerned' by situation in Ossetia

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Friday, August 8, 2008

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Georgian sniper during South Ossetia war.jpg
The above file photo (2004) shows a sniper taking aim at Ossetian rebels in South Ossetia to allow the Georgian Army forces to move forward Photograph: Jonathan Alpeyrie
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Several governments and the United Nations have expressed concern over the current situation in South Ossetia. Carl Bildt, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said that "the way in which the situation in South Ossetia has deteriorated is cause for profound concern. It is extremely important that all those involved show restraint and play their part in bringing about a political solution."

Bildt pointed out that "there have been reports of Russian warplanes having dropped bombs inside Georgia, beyond South Ossetia, and these reports have now been confirmed by various parties. This is cause for great concern. If this is the case, it is a violation of Georgia's territorial integrity. A great responsibility rests on Russia and I expect Russia to act constructively and with restraint."

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office also commented on the situation. "We are monitoring developments in Georgia following news that there has been heavy fighting between Georgian forces and South Ossetian separatists," said the office in a statement. "We urge an immediate ceasefire in the fighting in South Ossetia and for a resumption of direct dialogue between all parties."

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, urged "the parties [involved in the conflict] to refrain from any action that could further escalate the situation and threaten the stability of the region."

The President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, called for European governments to intervene: "It is only through active and common efforts of the entire Europe and through new initiatives that the frozen conflicts could be resolved and inefficient negotiation formats could be changed."

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