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Cablegate: Osce Permanent Council: Response to Cio Special

VZCZCXRO2992
RR RUEHAST RUEHFL RUEHLA RUEHMRE RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHC #5858 0721648
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121644Z MAR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 8587
INFO ORG FOR SECURITY CO OP IN EUR COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS STATE 025858

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AM KDEM MO OSCE PGOV PHUM PREL
SUBJECT: OSCE PERMANENT COUNCIL: RESPONSE TO CIO SPECIAL
ENVOY TALVITIE'S REPORT ON ARMENIA AND MOLDOVA


1. (U) Post is authorized to present the following statement
at the Permanent Council meeting in Vienna on March 13.

Begin text:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States greatly appreciates the diligent efforts of
Ambassador Heikki Talvitie, the special envoy of the Chairman
in Office, to help defuse the tense situation in Armenia
following the violence on March 1. Ambassador Talvitie, we
appreciate your timely briefing before the Permanent Council
concerning both Armenia and Moldova.

These are difficult times for Armenia and its citizens, times
which demand principled leadership and national
reconciliation. The OSCE can, and should, contribute to
this process.

Armenia stands at a crossroads. We deplore the tragic
violence of March 1 that resulted in at least 8 deaths. We
call for for the prosecution of all those who committed
unlawful acts of violence and violated election laws. At the
same time, arrests of opposition political leaders only
jeopardize Armenia,s reputation as a country that shares the
OSCE,s fundamental principles of freedom, democracy, and
human rights. The government and opposition must coalesce
around a path toward a shared democratic future. The state
of emergency should be lifted, a free press and all civil
liberties should be restored, and a genuine political
dialogue should be launched between the government and
opposition. The alternative is a vicious cycle in which
social tension increases, police and security personnel
respond with force, public outrage builds, and the crisis
only deepens. Using the good offices of the OSCE Mission and
the Chairmanship, we should encourage all parties to pursue
reconciliation, democracy, and respect for human rights.
Armenia,s democratic future should be determined in the
ballot box and at roundtable discussions, not in the streets.


On the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, we are deeply concerned by
the escalation of tensions on the Line of Contact and deplore
the loss of life during recent hostilities. We urge the
parties to exercise maximal restraint and restore a full and
unconditional ceasefire. The casualties along the Line of
Contact underscore the urgent need for the sides to endorse
the proposed Basic Principles for the peaceful resolution of
the conflict. There is no military solution to the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We recognize Azerbaijan,s
territorial integrity and hold that the status of
Nagorno-Karabakh is a subject for negotiations in the
framework of the Basic Principles.

Turning to the situation in Moldova,s Transnistria region,
the United States is heartened by the commitment the Finnish
Chairmanship in Office has displayed to finding a way
forward. In particular, we commend Ambassador Talvitie for
his dedication to building confidence among all the parties
and we endorse his call to get negotiations back on track. We
hope the informal 3 2 discussions today in Vienna will open
the door to further discussions under the 5 2 format as soon
as possible.

In this regard, we recognize, too, the valuable work being
done by the OSCE Mission in Moldova and its new Head of
Mission, Ambassador Philip Remler. Day-to-day work on the
ground to promote free movement, economic development and
political dialogue is indispensable to building a solid
foundation for resolving the Transnistrian conflict, which
has gone on far too long.

The United States remains committed to the search for a
solution that upholds Moldova,s sovereignty and territorial
integrity. The people who inhabit all parts of Moldova
deserve a secure, peaceful and unified future. We wish
Ambassador Talvitie well in his efforts to promote mutual
engagement and confidence building, a goal that has our full
support. We would welcome formation of joint working groups
on practical matters by the parties to the conflict, as
Moldova,s President Voronin has proposed and which the OSCE
Mission in Moldova would help to facilitate.

We extend thanks once again to Ambassador Talvitie for his
report and for his good work.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

End text
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