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Cablegate: Nato Press Statement On Events in South Ossetia

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081129Z AUG 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2129
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE 6037
RUEHSI/AMEMBASSY TBILISI IMMEDIATE 5628
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UNCLAS USNATO 000274

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL MARR NATO MOPS GG RU
SUBJECT: NATO PRESS STATEMENT ON EVENTS IN SOUTH OSSETIA

1. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer released a statement on developments in South Ossetia early August 8. Text of the statement follows: "The NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, is seriously concerned about the events that are taking place in the Georgian region of South Ossetia and said that the Alliance is closely following the situation. The Secretary General calls on all sides for an immediate end of the armed clashes and direct talks between the parties." End text of statement.

2. The SYG also approved contingency guidance for NATO staff to use when fielding calls from the press: -- If asked: Is the NATO Secretary General in contact with the Georgian side? Yesterday the SecGen spoke to the Georgian President and both discussed the tensions in the area. They called on all parties to exert restraint and engage in direct talks between the parties. The SecGen will be in touch again with the Georgia President again today and they will call for all parties to end the violence. -- If asked: Will the NAC visit to Georgia take place? The NAC had previously decided to visit Georgia in September. The dates have not been set. At the moment our focus is on the current situation. -- If asked: Russian air strikes? Does NATO have information on the Russian incursion? We have heard these reports, but have no further or final information beyond that. We urge all sides to refrain from military action. WEINROD

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