Second day of UN General Assembly closes
Speaking at Wednesday’s session, the Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili, accused Russia of illegally building a military base in South Ossetia.
“Elements of Russia are actively and illegally building a large military base in South Ossetia, in the small town of Dzhava in the middle of Georgia. This base is very far from Russian territory, on the other side of Caucasian ridge. They're hoping that arms and violence will triumph over the will of the people. What is more, this dangerous escalation is taking place under the very noses of international monitors, whose job it is to demilitarize the territory,” he said, before adding: “Reckless acts like this must be highlighted and countered.”
Also today, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has been meeting with his counterparts from Belarus, Algeria, Turkey and Nigeria. He has also had a one-to-one session with the President of Serbia, Boris Tadic.
Meanwhile, the first direct meeting between senior Serbian and Albanian leaders is due to take place on Friday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Kosovo legally remains part of Serbia, but ethnic Albanians are striving for independence.
Both Serbia and Russia have rejected a Western-backed plan to grant internationally supervised independence to the province. Following the move, the West suspended the drafting of a UN Security Council Resolution on Kosovo.
Talks between the two sides have since been brokered by envoys from the U.S., the EU and Russia, known as the troika.
The Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic explains the importance of the upcoming meeting between Belgrade and Pristina.
“I think it is the key meeting that will decide whether we will keep on meeting in such a fashion. And I think it’s the job of the Contact Group, the negotiating Troika, to make sure that the environment at this first meeting is proper and can lead to a dialogue. We hope that these talks may bring a compromise solution on the future status of Kosovo,” said Vuk Jeremic.