South Ossetia backs Russia's proposal on drafting non-use of force deal with Georgia

South Ossetia supported Russia's draft statement of participants in Geneva discussions on the South Caucasus security and hailed sticking to principles of non-use of force between South Ossetia, Georgia, and Abkhazia, the South Ossetian delegation said in a statement on Thursday.

"The adoption of this document is necessary as an important step toward the principal objective of the discussions, that is, the drafting of legally-binding documents on the non-use of force between Georgia and South Ossetia and between Georgia and Abkhazia as an international legal guarantee of security of the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," it said.

Special significance at the discussions was attached to security and non-use of force by Georgia against South Ossetia and Abkhazia in line with the agreements between former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy of August 12, and September 8, 2008, it said.

"It was mentioned that the situation in the region after the 21st round of the discussions was described as relatively stable, although individual incidents cause concerns," it said.

The South Ossetian delegation once again brought up the issue of the fate of South Ossetian residents who have gone missing after the 2008 war with Russia, most of whom are believed to have been apprehended by Georgian law enforcement and security agencies.

"Taking into account the new situation in Georgia's political affairs, South Ossetian representatives once again drew the discussion participants' attention to the problem of South Ossetian citizens held in prisons in Georgia," it said.

The participants in the Geneva discussions also praised the role of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism near the South Ossetian-Georgian border and called for further improving its efficiency.

International experts also appraised the needs of the people living in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The next round of the Geneva discussions is scheduled for the end of March 2013.

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