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Bildt visits Georgia in peace bid

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Bildt visits Georgia in peace bid
12:46 CEST+02:00
Sweden's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe Carl Bildt is travelling to Tbilisi on Monday in a bid to bring Russia and Georgia to the negotiating table.

Bildt said he was travelling to Georgia in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and to stress the common values and principles of the organization.

Bildt has already made a statement urging an immediate cease-fire from both Georgia and Russia.

"I urge once again all parties to immediately enter into a cease-fire. I strongly support the efforts of the UN, the EU and the OSCE to end the violence and resolve the conflict.

"It is of the utmost importance that humanitarian organisations are given total access to the conflict area. The suffering of the civilian population must stop, as must the loss of even more lives in this region of Europe."

"The peaceful solution of conflicts is a general principle of the Council of Europe. Both Georgia and the Russian Federation have committed themselves, when they joined the organisation, to settle all conflicts by peaceful means. This commitment must be respected, and so must the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia."

The foreign minister is convinced that sustainable peace and stability are based on respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law. To this end, the Council of Europe can provide expertise and assistance.

In his daily blog, Bildt made an impassioned plea to show support to a little European country that is under attack, and not to stand by quietly.

Bildt is accompanied on his visit by the Committee of Ministers' Secretary-General Terry Davis.

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