On the 46-th round of the Geneva Discussions

On the 46-th round of the Geneva Discussions
13 December 2018 793
The 46-th Round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus took place in Geneva on December 11-12, 2018. The Discussions 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 EU.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia headed by Daur Kove, the Minister of Foreign Affairs included Beslan Bartsits, the Head of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Abkhazia, Irakli Tuzhba, Deputy Foreign Minister, Vladimir Arlan, the Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia, Natela Lomia, the Head of the State Legal Department of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia as well as Lasha Avidzba, Artur Gagulia, Madina Shamba the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, the participants of the Geneva discussions.

The focus was on discussing the text of a joint oral statement on 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 during the round.

The Abkhaz side proposed a new version of the text of the statement as part of the discussion of this issue. However, some participants, referring to the need for more detailed familiarization with the text of the proposed document, stated the need to postpone its discussion to the next round.

The situation on the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian borders by all participants of the Geneva discussions, except Georgia, was assessed as stable and calm. Regarding the issue of resuming the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the city of Gal, the position of the Abkhaz side remains unchanged.

The Abkhaz, South Ossetian and Russian delegations jointly expressed concern over the deepening of Georgia’s military cooperation with NATO, in particular, they talked on an agreement between Georgia and the United States on the construction of a military airfield under the aegis of NATO. It was emphasized that the rapidly gaining momentum of military cooperation between the United States and Georgia creates a serious danger to regional stability in the South Caucasus. Again, concern was expressed on the activities of the laboratory named after R.Lugar.

The issues of a humanitarian nature related to freedom of movement, access to education, environmental issues and many other pressing issues have traditionally been discussed as part of the work of the second working group.
The next 47-th round of international Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia is scheduled to take place on April 2-3, 2019.

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