The commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia in connection with the Appeal of the RPO "Aruaa"

The commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia in connection with the Appeal of the RPO "Aruaa"
11 December 2020 524

We have considered the Appeal of the RPO "Aruaa" concerning the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Abkhazia, approved by Aslan Bzhania, the President on the 4-th of December this year. A number of claims are being made by Aruaa concerning the procedure of adoption of the Concept and its content, inter alia, regarding clause 2.3.

In this regard, we consider that attention should be paid to the following. First of all, it should be noted that the project of the Foreign Policy Concept was passed the appropriate approval by the executive branch of the Republic of Abkhazia. Then the project was sent for review and discussion to the Committee on International, Interparliamentary Relations and Relations with Compatriots of the People's Assembly-Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia. Only after carrying out of all the necessary procedures, the President, by his decree, approved the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Abkhazia. That is why, the statement that the project of the Concept was adopted “in the silence of the office” and is not agreed with the Parliament is not true.

Concerning the content of the Concept, "Aruaa" proposes to exclude the second paragraph of clause 2.3., where it is literally said as follows: "The Republic of Abkhazia allows the possibility of establishment of conditions for the formation of an additional format of multi-level negotiations between Georgia and the Republic of Abkhazia, within which it should be possible to discuss issues of mutual interest with the Georgian side, the resolution of which is not possible within the framework of the International Geneva Discussions ”. In the view of "Aruaa", the realization of this paragraph may overshadow the Geneva discussions and downgrade the status of the negotiation process. In addition, it is argued that Abkhazia "may lose international mediators and the high status of the negotiation process, as is the case in Geneva, if we go into direct negotiations with Georgia."

Obviously, that a similar interpretation of the second paragraph of clause 2.3. of the Concept is sufficiently arbitrary. The additional format of multi-level negotiations, the formation of which is allowed in the Concept, cannot in any way exclude or replace the existing format of the Geneva International Discussions, within which the Republic of Abkhazia is officially represented today. Accordingly, even in the event of a possible agreed decision to create such an additional format, the status of the current negotiation process cannot be automatically downgraded. Further, the Concept does not say anywhere about the need to go into "direct negotiations" between Abkhazia and Georgia without the participation of the Russian Federation and other international mediators. Neither the President, nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is committed to engaging in direct negotiations with Georgia. This explains why there is not any mention of the possibility of such negotiations with Tbilisi in the Concept.
Moreover, concerning the settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, it is noted in the Concept that “The Republic of Abkhazia is interested in establishing of equal, good-neighborly relations with Georgia. The relationship between the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia may be restored only on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. " In this regard, it becomes obvious that any unilateral concessions are out of the question on the part of Abkhazia.

The Abkhaz side does not consider it possible and expedient at this stage to leave the format of the Geneva discussions or unilaterally to reconsider this negotiating mechanism. On the contrary, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia has repeatedly noted the importance of the Geneva International Discussions, in the framework of which representatives of our republic have the opportunity to express the official position of Abkhazia in the presence of representatives of leading international actors - Russia, the USA, the UN, the EU and the OSCE. It is within the framework of the Geneva discussions that the Republic of Abkhazia defends such an important issue from the point of view of ensuring national security as the need to sign a document with Georgia on the non-use of force. Based on these considerations, the first paragraph of clause 2.3 of the Concept emphasizes the importance of Abkhazia's participation in the Geneva talks.

It should also be noted that within the framework of the mechanism for implementing of a coordinated foreign policy, the Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation hold regular consultations on a wide range of issues on the international and regional agenda, including on various aspects of the work of the Geneva International Discussions.

We consider that a qualified discussion of state foreign policy issues that meets national interests can be effective and expedient both within the framework of existing state institutions and at various expert platforms, including with the participation of interested social and political movements and parties.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, as a coordinating body for the development and implementation of foreign policy, is guided in its activities by the national interests of the Republic of Abkhazia.

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