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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia

 

Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on 17th round of Geneva Discussions

Seventeenth round of Geneva talks was held on October 4, 2001 where the issues of security and stability in Georgia's occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and safe and dignified return of the IDPs and refuges to the places of their habitual residence were discussed. On the 4th of October meetings of the two working groups were held in which participants took part in an individual capacity. Deliberations were moderated by the representatives of the UN, EU, and OSCE and attended by the participants from Georgia, Russian Federation and the United States. Dimitri Sanakoev and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia Mr. Giorgi Baramia took part in the seventeenth round of the Geneva talks. Representatives of the proxy regimes from Tskhinvali and Sokhumi also participated in the working groups.

For the first time the talks were attended by the new Co-Chairman - Special Representative of the EU to the South Caucasus and Crisis in Georgia Mr. Philippe Lefort. The 17th round of talks was also attended by the former Representative of the EU Mr. Pierre Morel. The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Georgia would like to underline the ample tribute provided by Mr. Morel in formation and heading of the working process of the Geneva Talks and thanks him for his dedication, efforts, efficiency and creativity. The Georgian side also welcomes the new Co-Chairman of the EU and wishes him success in this most responsible job.

The October 4th round once again vividly demonstrated that the Russian side and Tskhinvali and Sokhumi proxy regimes do not intend to seriously consider the issues related with security and stability and return of IDPs. Due to the extremely politicized position of Russia it is becoming impossible to achieve progress not only on the fundamental items of the agenda of the Geneva Talks but also on the issues of humanitarian character.

Still the Russian Federation refuses to accept the legally binding international obligation of none use of force against Georgia. And again the Moscow promoted an absurd idea that Russia is prepared to be the guarantor of peace and none use of force in the region. Through this proposal Russia strives to depict itself as the guarantor of peace rather than the party to the conflict which actually it is and which is responsible for encroachment on territorial integrity of Georgia and for the violation of fundamental norms of international law and also for blunt violation of the August 12 Ceasefire Agreement. It is noteworthy to mention that all efforts made by Russia to stress its status of a ‘mediator' and a ‘peacekeeper' and to avoid the image of a Party to the conflict totally fail. This approach is unequivocally shared not only by Georgia but by the representatives of Co-Chairmen and United States of America as well.

The representatives of Georgia at the meeting of the first working group demanded from the Russian side that Moscow cooperated in the investigation of the terrorist acts undertaken by the Russian special services on the territory of Georgia over the past two years. Despite the fact that the Russian side was handed over necessary documentation the Georgian side has not yet received formal answer to its legitimate request.

The fist working group discussed specific steps which would contribute to the establishment of international mechanism of stability in occupied regions. Georgia shares the approach of the Co-Chairmen that introduction of security and stability into the Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia should occur bit by bit through making concrete steps. At the same time, final establishment of security and stability will be possible only after provisions August 12 Ceasefire Agreement are fully implemented and after the Russian occupant forces withdraw from the Georgian territory and international peacekeeping and police forces are deployed in the occupied regions.

The Co-Chairmen also proposed concrete ideas aimed at recreating confidence between communities torn apart by the war and artificially created divided lines. Information session was also held on the 3rd of October on the measures of confidence building where the NGOs operating in the occupied regions delivered information on their activities to the participants of the Geneva Talks. Sadly, at this stage the Russian Federation and its proxy regimes did not turn out to be ready to support those ideas.

It is alarming that in the second working group Moscow and its proxy regimes refuse to discuss issues related with safe and dignified return of IDPs and refuges. All efforts made by the Co-Chairmen and the Georgian side to conduct discussion on the formulation of principles of return face impasse because of rigid position of Moscow, Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.

During the 17th round the representatives of the Georgian side, Co-Chairmen and the USA made it crystal clear that they are concerned by the facts of illegal arrests and prosecutions of local population who cross the administrative boundary lines. The Tskhinvali proxy regime currently detains 16 persons who must be urgently unconditionally freed. Georgia once again calls on the international community to pay attention to fates of these people and continues to raise this issue in its talks with official Moscow.

The participants agreed that 18th round of the Geneva Talks will take place on December 14 2011.

 

Tbilisi, 5 October 2011 

 

 
 

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