On the 43-rd round of the Geneva discussions

On the 43-rd round of the Geneva discussions
29 March 2018 218
The regular consultations were held in Geneva within the framework of the international discussions on the Transcaucasus on March 27-28 in which the representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Federation and the United States participated in the co-chairmanship of the UN, OSCE and the EU.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia was headed by Daur Kove, the Minister of Foreign Affairs included the members of the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry Lasha Avidzba, Arthur Gaguliya, Irakli Tuzhba and Anna Gamisoniya as well as Vladimir Arlan, the Abkhazian Deputy Chairman of the Abkhazian Security Service.

In the opening speech, all participants of the International Geneva Discussions expressed their condolences to the representatives of the Russian Federation in connection with the tragic death of citizens in the fire in the commercial center of the city of Kemerovo.

The main requirement of the Abkhaz side at the 43-rd round of the Geneva discussions was still the adoption of a joint oral statement on the parties' commitment to the non-use of force which would serve as an important step towards signing a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force between Georgia and Abkhazia and Georgia and South Ossetia. However, the oral statement of the parties was never accepted because this time the American formulation was unacceptable returning the old theses about the nature of events in August 2008.

In turn, the representatives of the Georgian delegation tried to shift the discussion of the main issue by putting the case of the death of the Georgian citizen A.Tatunashvili at the center of the discussion accusing him of not only South Ossetia, but also Russia. And they also continued to insist in their rhetoric that Abkhazia is an "occupied territory" and is not a party to the conflict and Russia should take the responsibility for the non-use of force.

Regarding the question of the presence of the Russian military forces on the territory of Abkhazia Daur Kove, the Foreign Minister noted that in a situation where the parties cannot even come to a joint oral statement on the non-use of force while the Georgian side is making enormous efforts to enter into the future in NATO the military cooperation with Russia exists and will be built up. "There is nothing surprising in the fact that Abkhazia continues to actively cooperate with the Russian Federation based on the bilateral agreements on all norms of international law and which is the only ally that ensures our security," he stressed.

The issues of illegal crossing of the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia along the Ingur River were also raised during the talks. The Minister once again drew the attention of the Co-Chairs to the need of the creation the conditions under which the Georgian authorities or representatives of international organizations would inform the residents of the Georgian border region with Abkhazia about the procedure for the transition of the state border. "This will make it possible in the future to avoid incidents involving the illegal crossing of the state border by foreign citizens," he added.

Daur Kove also called on the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions to take a more responsible attitude to the formulations and abbreviations that they use to formulate the reports. "There is no administrative border along the Ingur River. There is a state border".

Vladimir Arlan, the Deputy Chairman of the Abkhazian SSI also informed the participants of the Geneva discussions on some issues related to the security which are raised including within the framework of the IPRM. In particular, he noted that the results of the arrangement of the state border had a positive impact on security issues. "If you look at the statistics, for the last 9 years after the servicemen of the border department of the FSB of Russia joined the protection of the state border much more serious crimes such as kidnapping, robbery and acts of terrorism have become fewer."
A number of humanitarian tasks, including in the sphere of environmental security, preservation of cultural heritage, search for missing persons as well as education issues the participants discussed in the second working group.
The next meeting in Geneva is scheduled for June 2018.

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