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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the tenth round of the Geneva talks held on 29-30 March 2010

Tenth round of the Geneva talks was held on 29-30 March 2010 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, United States and the Russian Federation. UN Secretary General's recently appointed representative to Georgia Mr. Antti Turunen attended the discussions for the first time. 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 tenth round of the Geneva talks. Representatives of the proxy regimes from Tskhinvali and Sokhumi also participated in the working groups.

Geneva Discussions started with the two information sessions on 29 March. During these meetings the representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees provided information on the registration of the refugees and internally displaced persons and the go-and-see visits to the places of the previous habitual residence. The Georgian side welcomes such information sessions and expects that this practice will continue during the forthcoming rounds as well. Particular importance needs to be attached to the information session on the monitoring of the human rights violations in the occupied territories. During this session participants will listen to the representatives of various international organizations and consider recommendations on the ways how to improve human rights protection in the occupied regions.

On 30 March discussions were held within the two working groups. Unfortunately, no results were reached this time too because of the rigid position of the representatives of the Russian Federation and its proxy regimes. Georgian participants once again raised the issue of the full implementation of the August 12 cease-fire agreement, and the unconditional withdrawal of the Russian forces from the occupied regions of Georgia.

Moscow and its proxy regimes in Tskhinvali and Sokhumi continue to block the document of the Co-Chairs on the non-use of force and international security arrangements. The Georgian side welcomes this document despite its minimal content and believes that it represents a step in a right direction, which will allow the development of an effective international mechanism contributing to the fulfillment of the obligations under the 12 August ceasefire agreement.

Participants from Russia once again voiced their well-known positions on the unacceptability of the presence of international missions on the occupied territories, inadmissibility of the monitoring of the human rights violations and impossibility of unimpeded access of the humanitarian cargoes. These positions further distance Moscow from the views of the international community.

Participants of the 10th round of Geneva Talks discussed the necessity to resume full-fledged functioning of the incident prevention and response mechanisms. IPRM related to the Tskhinvali region has not been working since October 2009, whereas OSCE's effective participation in this mechanism is not yet possible due to incomprehensible position of Moscow and the Tskhinvali proxy regime. Discussions further focused on improvement of the effectiveness of the IPRMs by carrying out joint visits and intensifying the exchange of information. However, the prospects of these elements materializing remain minimal at this stage due to the negative position of Moscow and its proxy regimes.

It should be especially noted that Moscow's statements during the talks were particularly threatening and aggressive.

At the session of the second working group, participants continued to discuss the document on the joint undertakings proposed by the co-chairs. This document envisages a combination of the measures aimed at ensuring the safe and dignified return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to the places of their habitual residence. This time protection of the human rights and the go-and-see visits were discussed in detail. Moscow and its proxy regimes once again tried to politicize the issue in order to block any opportunity of agreement.

Representatives of Moscow and the proxy regimes continued to question the fundamental right of the refugees and IDPs to return to their homes in safety and dignity. This approach indicates clearly that Moscow carries on with its decade old policy of impeding the process of IDP return.

Participants agreed to hold the 11th round of Geneva talks on 8 June 2010.

Tbilisi, 31 March 2010



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