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S.Ossetian President Urges Diplomats to Push for Recognition (30.04.13)

South Ossetian diplomats should work hard for the republic’s independence to be internationally recognized, the breakaway region’s president, Leonid Tibilov, said Tuesday.

“One of the key tasks for the Foreign Ministry is to boost work to push for recognition of the South Ossetian republic’s independence by other states,” Tibilov said in his state of the nation address.

“Even in the complicated conditions of the current layout of political forces on the international arena, our diplomats should make every effort in this direction,” he said.

In his state of the nation address – Tibilov’s first since he took office in April 2012 – the South Ossetian leader specifically mentioned relations with Russia, saying dozens of intergovernmental agreements and financial and security assistance were the result of the recognition of South Ossetia’s independence by Russia.

“The events of South Ossetia’s recent history allow us to say Russia is our strategic partner forever,” he said.

Georgia broke off diplomatic ties with Russia after the two nations fought a brief war in August 2008 over South Ossetia, which, like Abkhazia, broke away from Georgia after the Soviet collapse.

Moscow has signed economic and military agreements with both republics since recognizing them as independent shortly after the 2008 war, and keeps ruling out any negotiations on their status. Most of the world’s nations consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia part of Georgia’s territory. Only a handful of countries have joined Russia in recognizing them as independent states, including Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Tibilov said the key strategic task for South Ossetia is to “move from restoration to development.”