On 9 November 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia hosted the meeting of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, Iraklii Tuzhba with the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus - the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, Toivo Klaar, and the UN Representative, Cihan Sultanoğlu.
From the Abkhazian side, the meeting was attended by the Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia Zaal Khvartskia, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, participants in the Geneva discussions Lasha Avidzba, Artur Gaguliia and Madina Shamba.
The main topic of the meeting was the discussion of the agenda of the next 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions.
Opening the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Iraklii Tuzhba noted that at this stage, for the Abkhazian side, the key issue on the agenda of the Geneva International Discussions remains the coordination and signing of a document on the non-use of force.
Iraklii Tuzhba also recalled that within the framework of the Geneva discussions, a special working group was formed to develop and agree on the text of a joint oral statement on the non-use of force. “Unfortunately, at the moment this long-term work has been forgotten,” Tuzhba said. He stressed that for many years it has not been possible to achieve results in resolving this key issue, due to the destructive position of the Georgian participants, who refuse to discuss any proposals on this document.
Iraklii Tuzhba drew special attention of the Co-Chairs to the problem of freedom of movement for citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia.
“In this context, the issue of recognizing Abkhazian national passports as travel documents is becoming more relevant. There are quite a lot of international examples when documents of countries that are UN members are recognized as travel documents in order to allow citizens of these countries to travel around the world,” Tuzhba said. He stressed that this practice should also be applied to Abkhazian documents.
The Deputy Minister noted with regret that discriminatory approaches are being applied to the Republic of Abkhazia that violate the personal rights of citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia and hinder their right to free movement. "This is a very serious humanitarian problem that needs to be addressed," he said.
In the context of the discussion of security issues, the Abkhazian side noted that in conditions where there is a high probability of an escalation of tension in the region due to the military activity of Georgia, the agreement and signing of a document on the non-use of force is becoming more relevant.
For their part, the Co-Chairs expressed their commitment to continue the work of the Geneva International Discussions.
During the meeting, the need to take joint steps to resume the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the town of Gal was once again emphasized.
As part of the consultations, discussions also took place on a number of other issues of the agenda and thematic content of the upcoming round of the Geneva International Discussions.
The next 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus is scheduled for February 2023.