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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the 16th round of the Geneva Discussions

Sixteenth round of the Geneva talks was held on June 7, 2011 where the issues of security and stability in Georgia's occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and the safe and dignified return of the IDPs and refugees to the places of their habitual residence were discussed. Meetings of the two working groups were held, in which participants took part in an individual capacity. Deliberations were moderated by the UN, EU and OSCE and attended by the participants from Georgia, Russian Federation and the United States. Head of the provisional administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District Mr. Dimitri Sanakoev and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia Mr. Giorgi Baramia took part in the sixteenth round of the Geneva talks. Representatives of the proxy regimes from Tskhinvali and Sokhumi also participated in the working groups. Working group meetings were preceded by the information sessions on the (1) non use of force and the international security arrangements and (2) the end of displacement.

During the Geneva Discussions Georgia demanded from the Russian Federation to immediately stop the state-sponsored terror campaign, which has become disturbingly activated during the last few months. Only in the first days of June 2011 Georgia's law enforcement agencies foiled two terrorist attacks, while a number of attacks were prevented in March and April 2011. These attempts were preceded by several terrorist acts in 2010, as a result of which two persons were killed. There is an overwhelming evidence that all these terror attempts were masterminded and undertaken from the occupied regions of Georgia by the FSB and GRU officials, whose identities are established. Georgian side once again handed over to Russia all the materials necessary to cooperate with Georgia's investigation and to conduct own investigation on the Russian side. Unfortunately, the Russian Federation failed to respond to Georgian requests, as it did during the previous Geneva round.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia would like to urge the Russian Federation to immediately halt any terrorist activities. Terrorism can not be negotiated, or appeased. Georgian side does not intend to discuss the security, or humanitarian issues related topics with Russia in Geneva, or elsewhere, while Moscow continues to mastermind terrorist attacks on the territory of Georgia. If this organized terror campaign continues Georgian side will have no other choice but to reconsider its attitude towards the Geneva Discussions. By the same token, we would like to urge the international community to take up the issue of terrorist acts with the Russian Government at all levels.

In the second working group Georgian participants proposed to the Russian Federation to continue negotiations in good spirit on the return of the IDPs and refugees to their homes and the reversal of the ethnic cleansing, in line with Russia's international obligatios, including those stemming from the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). As noted by the International Court of Justice a dispute exists between the Russian Federation and Georgia on the return of the IDPs and their ethnic cleansing in the occupied regions of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. In order to facilitate the solution to this long-standing dispute in the frames of the Geneva Discussions Georgia once again expressed readiness to continue diplomatic negotiations with Russia to reverse the results of ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, as during the previous rounds of the Geneva Discussions, the Russian Federation refused to discuss the issue of safe and dignified return. Russian side continues to challenge the internationally accepted principle of the safe and dignified return of the IDPs and refugees to their homes. Georgian side will continue raising this issue during the next rounds of the Geneva talks as well.

Participants agreed to hold the 17th round of the Geneva talks on 4 October, 2011.

 

Tbilisi, 8 June 2011

 
 

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