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No Clarity over GUAM Peacekeeping Unit

The proposed establishment of a GUAM peacekeeping unit has been thrown into doubt.

Although high on the agenda at the summit of leaders from GUAM member states ? Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova ? in Baku on June 18-19, Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko recently hinted that problems had arisen.

Speaking on June 25, he said that ?some partners? were showing some reluctance to the establishment of the joint peacekeeping force.

?There are still some partners, which, although I would not say they reject the idea, certainly view this issue in a different light. But that is not a big deal; I think we will hold a series of consultations in order to better understand each other,? Yushchenko said. He didn’t specify which countries were less than enthusiastic about the proposal.

Yushchenko himself re-iterated his support for the idea. Speaking with Georgian reporters in Istanbul on the sidelines of the BSEC summit, he said that ?the best way? to resolve separatist conflicts in the former Soviet Union would be through the participation of countries involved in the peace process, ?which have more mutual trust and are members of regional structures, like GUAM.?

?My position is that the formation of this kind of joint peacekeeping force, which would operate under UN or OSCE mandate, would be a positive step forward,? he added.

Georgia is an enthusiastic supporter of a joint GUAM peacekeeping force.


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