On the 45-th Round of the Geneva Discussions

On the 45-th Round of the Geneva Discussions
11 October 2018 279
The 45-th Round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Caucasus were held on October 9-10, 2018.The Discussion was attended by the representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Republic of South Ossetia, Georgia, the Russian Federation and the United States co-chaired by the UN, OSCE and the EU.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia headed by Daur Kove, the Minister of Foreign Affairs included Irakli Tuzhba, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vladimir Arlan, the Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia as well as the staff of the Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia, participants of the Geneva discussions Lasha Avidzba, Artur Gaguliya, Said Kakaliya, Madina Shamba.

The current 45-th round coincided with the 10-th anniversary of the beginning of the Geneva discussions on security and stability in the South Caucasus.

Representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Russian Federation stated that they continued to consider further discussion of the issue of the non-use of force in the South Caucasus as a key task for joint work in Geneva. During the round, the parties continued to discuss a joint oral statement on the non-use of force, which would be an important step towards signing a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force between Georgia and Abkhazia and Georgia and South Ossetia. Unfortunately, the parties once again failed to agree on a compromise version of the text of the oral statement in connection with which it was proposed to continue discussion of this issue in the next round of the Geneva discussions.

Special attention of the agenda was devoted to the issue of renewing the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM).

The Abkhaz side reiterated that the adoption of the “Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili” list negatively affects the work of the IPRM format, but expressed commitment to resume work under this mechanism, only if the Otkhozoria case is not included the agenda of the IPRM. All participants in the meeting also spoke of the need to resume the work of the IPRM, stressing that this format is extremely efficient and necessary.

During the round, the Abkhaz side transmitted through the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions letters to António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Thomas Greminger, OSCE Secretary-General which calls for equal access to all international platforms for Abkhaz representatives where issues affecting the interests of the Republic of Abkhazia are discussed.

All participants of the GID have described the situation on the Georgian-Abkhaz border as stable with the exception of the Georgian side.

The Abkhaz and South Ossetian sides also called on the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions to take a more responsible attitude to the wording and abbreviations used in the preparation of reports under the GID.

The Republic of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Russian Federation reiterated their concerns regarding the permanent build-up of military-technical cooperation between Georgia and NATO as well as concerns on the activities of the Biological Laboratory named by R.Lugar in Georgia.

The work of the second working group traditionally discussed issues of a humanitarian nature related to freedom of movement, access to education and many other pressing issues.

All participants of the meeting expressed a common opinion on the need to create new approaches to improve the efficiency and promote the work of the Geneva discussions.

The next 46-th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus is scheduled for December 11-12, 2018.

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