On the 55-th round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus

On the 55-th round of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus
8 December 2021 509

7-8, 2021 with the participation of representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, Republic of South Ossetia, Georgia, Russian Federation and USA under co-chairmanship of UN, EU and OSCE.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia, headed by Irakliy Tuzhba, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, included Saida Butba, the Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Abkhazia, Zaal Khvartskiya, Deputy Chairman of the State Security Service of the Republic of Abkhazia, Kakha Pertaya, Natalie Smyr, Inal Tarba,- Deputies of the National Assembly - Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia, Lyudmila Skorik, Chief Sanitary Doctor of the Republic of Abkhazia, as well as Lasha Avidzba, Artur Gagulia and Madina Shamba, employees of the Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia.

The agenda of the next round was traditionally discussed in two working groups, one on security and one on humanitarian issues.

According to the participants in the discussions, with the exception of the representatives of the Georgian delegation, the situation on the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia with Georgia was characterized as generally calm and stable.

It was noted, however, that violations of the Inguri River border crossing regime by Georgian citizens continue to be reported on a regular basis. 

Particular attention was paid to the resumption of the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali. Representatives of the Abkhaz delegation expressed their readiness and commitment to the mechanism and put forward a new package of proposals aimed at unblocking the IPRM format as an important component of the Geneva discussions.

The Abkhaz side once again expressed its concern about Georgia's military buildup with the direct support of the United States and other NATO countries. Special attention was drawn to the bilateral military-technical cooperation between the US and Georgia, the regular visits of American warships to the Black Sea waters, the constant violation of the airspace of the Republic of Abkhazia by foreign civil and military vessels, as well as the prospects of Georgia's integration into the North Atlantic alliance. It was stressed that such escalation of tension posed serious threats to peace and stability in the region.
During the round, the Abkhaz side proposed to the representatives of the Georgian delegation to begin the delimitation procedure, followed by the demarcation of the state border with Georgia. It was noted that the border delimitation process would resolve many issues on the ground and streamline the procedure for crossing the state border at officially established checkpoints.

The key focus of the Abkhaz participants was on the need to resume work on agreeing of the text of the document on international guarantees on the non-use of force. Traditionally, the Georgian delegation continues to refuse to discuss this most important issue. It is expected that at the next round the Co-Chairs will elaborate their proposals on this document and present them to all the participants.

The second working group discussed humanitarian issues related to freedom of movement, education and a number of others.

The next 56th round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the Transcaucasus is scheduled for March 29-30, 2022.

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