On the 47-th round of the Geneva discussions

On the 47-th round of the Geneva discussions
3 April 2019 570

The 47-th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus which was attended by the representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Republic of South Ossetia, Georgia, the Russian Federation and the United States under the co-chairmanship of the UN, OSCE and the EU took place on April 2-3 April 2019 in Geneva.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia was headed by Daur Kove, the Foreign Minister.

The representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and the Russian Federation stated that they continued to consider the further discussion of the issue related to the signing of the agreement on the non-use of force as the key task of working together in Geneva, however this time they could not accept the joint statement of the participants on the commitment to the non-use of force which would be an important step towards the signing of a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force between Georgia and Abkhazia and Georgia and South Ossetia as the main goal of the Geneva Discussions. The work on the joint project will continue at the next round.

The discussion was held on the issue of the temporary restriction of border crossing along the Ingur. The closure of the border during the period of quarantine had a negative impact on the movement of the local population and the opinion was expressed that the outbreak of the H1N1 strain of the influenza virus was not a serious reason for making this decision according to the Georgian delegation. In turn, representatives of the Abkhaz delegation stressed that there was no closure of the border, and the decision to impose quarantine and restrictions on crossing the border with Georgia was dictated by the need to ensure the safety of the citizens of Abkhazia and prevent the spread of swine flu in the republic.

Daur Kove, the Minister of Foreign of Abkhazia spoke in detail on the incident on March 10, 2019 during the discussion of the tragic death of Irakli Kvaratskheliya, the Georgian citizen who was detained for illegal border crossing and after the above-mentioned committed an act of suicide. All the participants of the meeting once again spoke in favor of the need to resume the work of the IPRM in the city of Gal, stressing that this format is extremely effective and important for preventing such incidents.

The Abkhaz side once again expressed its commitment to resume the work of the IPRM only if the Georgian side fulfilled the demands put forward before it. A positive assessment was also given to the operational functioning of the hotlines.

The Abkhaz side called again for the equal access for representatives of Abkhazia to all international platforms where issues affecting the interests of the Republic of Abkhazia are discussed in the course of the negotiation process.

The delegations of Abkhazia, Russia and South Ossetia reiterated their serious concern over the increasing number of NATO military exercises in Georgia, which pose a serious threat to regional security. In particular, they talked on the command-staff exercises "NATO-Georgia 2019" which opened on March 18, 2019 on the territory of the Center for the Support of Exercises and Military Education near Tbilisi.

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

The next 48-th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia is scheduled to take place on July 2-3, 2019.

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