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DUBLIN, February 28 (Itar-Tass) —— A next round of talks on the Transdniestrian settlement in the format Five Plus Two opens in the Irish capital on Tuesday. Two-day talks will be attended by representative from the two parties to the conflict – Moldova and Transdiestria, and representatives of mediators – Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and observers from the United States and the European Union. The Russian delegation will be led by Russian Ambassador at Large Sergei Gubarev.
The talks will be chaired by the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the Transdniestrian settlement process, Erwan Fouere. The sides will discuss the principles and the procedure of talks, and a schedules for further contacts. It is expected that the talks will be opened by Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore. In an interview with Itar-Tass, Gilmore said he hoped for a constructive and fruitful dialogue. He said he hoped the Dublin meeting will strengthen agreements reached last year, will build up trust between the parties and will create a solid basis for future work.
Although the Transdienstrian conflict is not like the one in Northern Ireland, he said, Irelan’s experience might be of use to promote cooperation between the parties. There are many aspects of the North Ireland peace settlement that might be of interest for other countries, he said. He expressed confidence that the North Ireland settlement practices might be useful in terms of promoting tourism and trade, and in such sensitive aspects as the work of police, the search for national identity, preserving the language and the cultural heritage.
The Dublin meeting will be the second one after almost a six-years’ break in the negotiating process. Talks in the Five Plus Two format were suspended in February 2006 after the Moldovan delegation accused Tiraspol of intractability and withdrew from the talks. Thanks’ to Russia’s efforts, the dialogue was resumed in April 2008, when the former president of Moldova and Transdniestria finally met. Later however the process was again stalled because of the unstable political situation in Chsinau. Since then, only unofficial meeting on the Transdniestrian settlement have been held. The last two such meetings, in Moscow and in Vilnius, decided to resume the talks in a full format.