The appeal of the participants of the round table "24 Years without War: Problems and Opportunities" to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia.

The appeal of the participants of the round table "24 Years without War: Problems and Opportunities" to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia.
28 September 2017 690
The round table on «24 years without war: the problems and opportunities» held in Sukhum on September 26, 2017.

An appeal was adressed to the representatives of the Abkhaz Foreign Ministry and the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia, as the result of the discussion which was attended by the representatives of the Presidential Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the deputies of the parliament and the civil organizations of the republic.

As the result of the discussion, the participants addressed to the representatives of the Abkhaz Foreign Ministry with the following appeal:

1. The international isolation, which is expressed in limiting the international contacts of Abkhazia, continues, despite the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia by the Russian Federation and the number of other states.

2. This problem leads to the violation of human rights first of all to restriction the rights of Abkhaz citizens to free movement. The new generation of young people who have only Abkhaz citizenship has grown up in Abkhazia. With Abkhazian passports they may only travel to the Russian Federation and several other countries that have recognized the independence of Abkhazia. All other countries for them are tightly closed.

We consider unacceptable the violation of the right to free movement the result of which is the restrictions on access to education and health care outside of Abkhazia. We consider it important to urge the participants of the Geneva discussions to include in their agenda the issue of recognizing of Abkhazian foreign passports as the travel documents. The existing precedents for solving such problems in other contexts (Northern Cyprus, Taiwan, Kosovo, etc.) indicate that this issue may be fully resolved with the goodwill of the participants, if in their approaches they proceed from the recognition of equality and respect for human rights. The unresolved Georgian-Abkhaz conflict should not affect the citizens of Abkhazia in the form of the violation of their rights, first of all, the rights of young people entering life with much more limited opportunities than most young people around the world.

3. Realizing that the law "on the occupied territories" adopted in Georgia in 2008 does not contribute to the search for the peaceful solution of the conflict and this is the main reason for the restrictions faced by the citizens of Abkhazia, we also consider it is important to urge the international community to use its influence for cancellation of this discriminatory of the law.

4. From year to year, in the framework of various international political organizations and forums in which Georgia is represented and whose access to Abkhazia has been tightly closed there are statements concerning Abkhazia or the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. These documents ignore the most important historical facts primarily the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-1993. In many foreign information materials the memory of the war which is the primary source of the grave humanitarian consequences for Abkhazia is roughly washed away. Attempts to obscure the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict with the events of August 2008 and shift the focus to Georgian-Russian relations hamper the understanding of the depth of the conflict that exists between Abkhazia and Georgia and its roots. Without such understanding of the past its assessment and acceptance of the realities of today it is difficult to talk about the prospects for establishing a sustainable peace in our region. Moreover, ignoring the fact of Georgia's aggression against Abkhazia leads to the substitution of the thesis and distortion of the real picture which will not allow us to find realistic solutions for the complex conflict. In this regard, we consider it is important to urge all participants in the negotiating process in their approaches to start from analyzing and assessing Georgia's military aggression in 1992 and to consider its consequences precisely in this way.

5. Paying tribute to the importance to the Geneva platform where the key participants are nonetheless represented in the personal capacity we believe that Abkhazia should not be satisfied with the situation in which it lost the status of the party to the conflict and in negotiations. We believe that this gradually leads to Abkhazia's loss of subjectivity in the political process in the broad sense.

6. All of the above confirms once again that Abkhazia today has the huge tasks in terms of enhancing of international contacts and contacts necessary to advance the issue of recognition of Abkhazia for disseminating truthful information about the country's current aspirations and problems and also in order to achieve an objective assessment of the Georgian -Abkhazian war and its consequences.

Taking into account that in the conditions of partial recognition the official structures of Abkhazia are limited in their actions at the international level of non-governmental organizations for many years have been using their opportunities to establish constructive contacts with the representatives of international organizations that contribute to the search for ways to peacefully settlement of the conflict. If we at different platforms do not oppose the selective historical memory that leaves the Georgian-Abkhaz war of 1992-1993 in oblivion then such events may be happened again in the future. Moreover, ignoring the fact of Georgia's aggression against Abkhazia leads to a substitution of the thesis and distortion of the real picture which will not allow us to find realistic solutions for the complex conflict.

7. We also understand that various factors influence on the openness of Abkhazia and we hope that in Abkhazia there is an understanding in the authorities and in society of the fundamental importance of interaction with the outside world without which it is impossible to strengthen the positions of Abkhazia as an independent and capable democratic state at the international level.

We hope that the international mediators will take into account with understanding our concern over the existing restrictions on the citizens of Abkhazia and will regard our appeal as the call for creating conditions that will contribute to the more constructive interaction of Abkhazia with the outside world.

Natella Akaba, Secretary of the Public Chamber of the Republic of Abkhazia

Manana Gurgulia, "Abkhazia-Inform" news agency

Socrate Dzhindzholia, member of the Public Chamber of the Republic of Abkhazia

Arda Inal-Ipa, Center for Humanitarian Programs

Liana Kvarchelia, Center for Humanitarian Programs

Givi Kvarchia, Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia

Guli Kichba, Movement "Mothers of Abkhazia for Peace and Social Justice"

Dana Kudzhba, Center for Humanitarian Programs

Oleg Papaskiri, NGO "Lawyers of Abkhazia"

Batal Tabagua, Deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia

Asida Shakryl, Center for Humanitarian Programs

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