On the 48-th round of the Geneva Discussions

On the 48-th round of the Geneva Discussions
3 July 2019 230
The 48-th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Caucasus took place in Geneva on July 2–3, 2019. The round 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 Foreign Minister included Vladimir Arlan, the Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia as well as Lasha Avidzba, Arthur Gaguliia, Alas Asabua, Jamal Bganba and Madina Shamba, the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, the participants of the Geneva discussions.
The negotiators continued to discuss the adoption of a joint oral statement on the commitment of the parties to the non-use of force during the 48-th round of the Geneva discussions. The joint oral statement 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, once again the parties failed to agree on a compromise version of the text of the oral statement as a result of which it was decided to continue the work on the text of the statement at the next round of discussions.
During the discussion of the situation on the borders of Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia, most of the participants of the meeting expressed concern over the introduction of a temporary restriction on the crossing of the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia with Georgia along the Ingur River and also called on the Abkhaz side to lift these restrictions as soon as possible.
In turn, the representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia stated that the decision to impose a temporary restriction on crossing the state border along the Ingur River is connected with mass provocative actions in Georgia. It was also stressed that this decision was temporary.
Nevertheless, all the participants, with the exception of the Georgian representatives, agreed on the assessment that the situation in the border area remained stable and calm.
In addition, the Abkhaz side called on the participants of the meeting to pay serious attention to the statement made by Akaki Bobokhidze, the Georgian deputy of parliament who in his statement during the meeting of the 26-th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of Orthodoxy, indeed has admitted to committing the murders on the territory of Abkhazia. The representatives of Abkhazia also reported that the military prosecutor's office of the Republic of Abkhazia is conducting an investigation on this statement.
The Abkhaz side also called on the representatives of Georgia to set up a special commission to investigate the fact of Akaki Bobokhidze’s participation in the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhaz conflict and his committing crimes on the territory of Abkhazia.
The special attention of the agenda was devoted to the issue of renewing the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the city of Gal. The Abkhaz side once again declared its commitment to resume the work of this format, only after the Georgian side fulfilled the demands put forward by it.
The representatives of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Russia reiterated their concern over the increasing activity of NATO in Georgia, which represents a serious threat to security in the region.
The participants discussed a number of humanitarian tasks in the second working group; including the field of environmental safety, preservation of cultural heritage, the search for missing persons as well as educational issue.
All participants of the meeting expressed a common opinion on the need to create new approaches to improve the effectiveness and promote the work of the Geneva discussions.
The next 49-th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia is scheduled for October 8-9, 2019.

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