OSCE mission calls for speedy end to water supply difficulties in zone of Georgian-Ossetian conflict

TBILISI, 18 June 2007 - The Head of the OSCE Mission to Georgia, Ambassador Roy Reeve, called today for the sides in the Georgian-Ossetian conflict to meet to resolve the outstanding issues which are still interrupting water supply in the zone of conflict without delay.

"In the light of the ongoing drinking-water and irrigation problems in the region and the hardships they are causing the population, I urge the parties to meet as soon as possible to find workable solutions for these questions," said Ambassador Reeve. "This all the more urgent now that the harvest season approaches."

Twenty-four days ago, damage to the main potable water pipeline through the zone of conflict sparked a crisis which left residents without water for two weeks, and heightened tensions in the area. Since then, although some supplies have been resumed, there has been no complete resolution to this issue.