On the meeting with the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions

On the meeting with the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions
17 September 2020 1330
On September 17, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia Iraklii Tuzhba held a meeting with the Co-Chairs of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasia - EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar, UN Representative Cihan Sultanoglu and OSCE Special Representative for the South Caucasus Rudolf Mikhalka.

The main topic of the meeting was the discussion of the agenda for the upcoming 51st round of International Geneva Discussions and topical issues of regional security and stability in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of his welcoming speech, Iraklii Tuzhba noted that he was glad to have the opportunity of a personal meeting with the Co-chairs after a long break, since the previous negotiations were held in the format of videoconferences due to the restrictions imposed because of the spread of the coronavirus infection.

Turning to the main topic of the meeting, Iraklii Tuzhba emphasized that the most important and urgent problem of the agenda of the Geneva discussions for the Abkhazian side is the coordination of a document on international guarantees of the non-use of force. He noted with regret that work in this direction had been carried out for a long time, however, it still did not give tangible results due to the extremely unconstructive position of the Georgian side. At this stage, this process is in a frozen state.

Iraklii Tuzhba informed the meeting participants that the Abkhazian side intends to continue work in this direction to find compromise solutions that reflect the interests of all participants in the process.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia also expressed serious concern of the Abkhazian side in connection with the constant build-up of military-technical cooperation between Georgia and NATO and called on the Co-Chairs to pay attention to this problem in order to avoid an escalation of tension in the region.

In turn, the Co-Chairs of the Geneva Discussions also expressed satisfaction with the possibility of holding meetings on the ground and stressed the importance of maintaining a high level of communication to solve emerging problems.

In the framework of the meeting, an exchange of views took place on the prospects for the resumption of the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the town of Gal, as an additional tool in the work of the Geneva Discussions. The parties agreed that, in general, the situation in the Gal district of Abkhazia bordering Georgia remains stable and safe.

At the meeting was also discussed the agenda of the second working group aimed at resolving humanitarian issues.

The next 51st round of the Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia is scheduled for October 6-7, 2020.

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