FSC.DEL/509/07 Distributed at the request 4 October 2007 of Georgia OSCE+ ENGLISH only
Statement by the Government of Georgia on the August 6 Missile Incident, Prepared as Background Information in Advance of the Meeting of the Forum for
Security Cooperation on October 17, 2007
Upon the formal request of Georgia, the Danish Chair of the Forum for Security Cooperation has added the 6 August 2007 missile incident in Georgia to the agenda for the FSC meeting on 17 October under the standard agenda item “Security Dialogue." The Government of Georgia encourages all OSCE Participating States concerned to send their experts to the meeting, including those who investigated the incident, to allow a thorough discussion of this topic and to encourage dialogue on how to prevent or respond to such incidents in the future.
We recall that, after the 6 August 2007 missile incident in Georgia, the Georgian authorities carried out their investigation that provided evidence of airspace violations and of a missile attack on the territory of Georgia. The Government of Georgia also asked the OSCE, other International Organizations, and individual participating States of the OSCE, to carry out their own, independent investigations. The international community called for a rapid, thorough and independent investigation in order to clarify and verify the facts surrounding this incident.
The OSCE Mission in Georgia conducted a prompt on-site inspection and issued its Spot Report on August 7, 2007. Spot Report has been circulated in the OSCE under the following reference number: SEC.FR/326/07, 8 August 2007.
Thereafter, thirteen technical experts from seven different OSCE Participating States carried out two separate investigations that examined both the record that documented the violations of Georgian airspace and the missile that was recovered near Tsitelubani, Georgia. They issued their reports, which have been circulated in the OSCE under the following reference numbers: SEC.DEL/116/07, 16 August 2007; SEC.DEL/123/07, 22 August 2007.
The Russian Federation also dispatched an expert mission to Georgia on August 16-17, 2007. The report has been circulated in the OSCE under the following reference number: PC.DEL/828/07, 23 August 2007.
In his address to the Permanent Council on 6 September 2007, Dr. Miomir Zuzul, the Personal Representative of the CiO on Missile Incident in Georgia, noted that incidents of this nature are dangerous and worrying and a matter of concern to the OSCE as a whole. Therefore all necessary means should be employed to avoid their repetition.
Dr. Zuzul suggested that the OSCE should adopt a forward-looking approach when dealing with the incident of the 6 August 2007. Georgia believes that the best way to start moving ahead is first to have a thorough and open discussion of the facts of this incident. We see the discussion in the FSC, as part of the Security Dialogue, as a way to further understanding by OSCE Participating States of this incident. It may also serve as marker for a better, more coherent and transparent response in any similar future incident.
In this regard, the address of PR CIO contained a number of concrete proposals for consideration by Participating States. Based upon those proposals and on further consultations, the OSCE Chairmanship on September 25, 2007 presented its Food For Thought Paper, "The 6 August 2007 Missile Incident, the Way Forward for the consideration by the Participating States of the OSCE." The Paper addresses possible measures, which are divided into two categories: first, the ones aimed at dealing with this particular incident and at trying to prevent similar incidents from happening again; second, those aimed at strengthening confidence building measures. They propose exploring the possible means to reinforce, if need be, the OSCE’s capacity to respond rapidly to crises of this type. It may be useful in the
FSC for participating States to offer preliminary reactions to these ideas, in the context of the missile incident.