On the 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions

On the 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions
5 April 2023 440

On April 4-5, 2023, Geneva hosted the 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus, which was attended by 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, the EU and the OSCE. 

The Abkhazian delegation was headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia Iraklii Tuzhba. The delegation also included the head of the Consular Department of the MFA of Abkhazia, Lasha Avidzba, the head of the Department for Interaction with International Organizations, Artur Gaguliia and the Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia, Zaal Khvartskiia.

During the round, the Abkhazian side focused particular attention on the need to agree on and further sign a legally binding document on international guarantees on the non-use of force. As a result of the discussion, the Georgian side again refused to have any discussions on this key issue of the agenda. This question remains open and it was proposed to postpone its discussion to the next round.

The meeting participants also discussed other issues related to local security. It was noted that the situation in the region retains signs of stability and is characterized as calm. 

Almost all participants of the meeting confirmed the need to resume the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the town of Gal, as one of the important formats for the work of the Geneva discussions. The Abkhazian side once again confirmed its commitment to the resumption of the work of this mechanism. Unfortunately, the proposals of the Abkhazian delegation aimed at unblocking the IPRM format did not receive support from the Georgian participants.

During the meeting, the Abkhazian delegation expressed its serious concern over the latest internal political events in Georgia, which began to gain a foreign political context. It was emphasized that the calls of representatives of the Georgian opposition regarding the possibility of opening the so-called second front could lead to unpredictable consequences and provoke a new escalation of tension in the region.

As part of the work of the Working Group 2, a number of humanitarian issues were discussed. In particular, the Abkhazian side once again raised the question of the possibility of using Abkhazian national passports as international travel documents. Problems related to access to education, medical care and a number of other topical issues were also discussed.

The next 58th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus is scheduled for July 2023.

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