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Syria, South Ossetia agree on mutual recognition

May 29, 12:30 UTC+3

Earlier, the independence of South Ossetia was recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru

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© AP Photo/Thanasis Stavrakis

TSKHINVAL, May 29. /TASS/. The Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of South Ossetia have agreed on mutual recognition and on establishing diplomatic relations, according to a communique posted on the website of the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

"The Republic of South Ossetia and the Syrian Arab Republic declare mutual recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries at the level of embassies from the date this communique is published," the document says.

Both countries are seeking "to establish and develop full-scale political, economic and cultural cooperation," the communique says.

The countries’ actions will comply with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations dated April 18, 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations dated April 23, 1963, the document stresses.

Earlier, the independence of South Ossetia and also of Abkhazia, the other former Georgian autonomous region, was recognized by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru.

South Ossetia’s chronicle of independence

During the final years of the Soviet era, South Ossetia began its struggle for its independence from Georgia, which proclaimed its path to secession from the Soviet Union.

On November 10, 1989, the Council of People’s Deputies of the South Ossetian Autonomous Region transformed the region into an autonomous republic within the Georgian SSR, which unleashed a four-month blockade of Tskhinval by Georgian nationalists. On September 20, 1990, the parliament of South Ossetia proclaimed the establishment of the republic and in January 1991, Georgian troops were deployed to South Ossetia. According to various estimates, from 2,000 to 4,000 people were killed in the armed conflict that raged from November 1990 to July 1992.

Under the Dagomys agreement concluded in 1992, Russian peacekeepers entered South Ossetia to settle the conflict. Along with the Russian forces, the peacekeeping mission included a Georgian battalion and a North Ossetian one.

Under that same deal, the Joint Control Mission was set up, headed by three co-chairmen: Chairman of Russia’s State Emergencies Committee Sergei Shoigu, Georgian Defense Minister Tengiz Kitovani and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of North Ossetia Sergei Khetagurov. The commission exercised control over the ceasefire, the withdrawal of armed formations in addition to administering security measures in the conflict zone.

The peacekeepers performed their mission until August 2008. Overnight to August 8, 2008, Georgia attacked South Ossetia, following which Russia moved to defend civilians, many of whom held Russian citizenship, along with Russia’s peacekeepers.

As a result of the five-day war, the Georgian troops were driven out of South Ossetia. The war claimed over 1,000 lives, including those of 72 Russian servicemen. On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and in 2009, a Russian military base was established in the republic.

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