On the 61st round of the International Geneva Discussions

On the 61st round of the International Geneva Discussions
26 June 2024 225

61st round of the Geneva International Discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasus took place in Geneva on June 25 and 26, 2024. Representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Federation and the United States took part in the discussions, which were co-chaired by the UN, OSCE and the EU.

The delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia, headed by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Odissey Bigvava, included the head of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lasha Avidzba and the head of the department of the Middle East and Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Artur Gaguliia.

The work took place traditionally in two groups - on security and on humanitarian issues.

The main part of the work of the first group was devoted to discussing the security situation in the border areas of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia. The Abkhazian, South Ossetian and Russian sides once again confirmed their principled position on the need to conclude a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force between Abkhazia and South Ossetia, on the one hand, and Georgia, on the other.

In turn, representatives of the Georgian delegation shifted the focus of the discussion to incidents related to the illegal crossing of the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia, and the situation with Georgian citizens who are imprisoned on the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia by decision of the Abkhazian courts. Participants from Georgia continued to use the term “occupied territory” in their rhetoric in relation to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. At the same time, according to representatives of Georgia, the Russian Federation should undertake to not use force.

The negotiators raised the issue of resuming the functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the town of Gal. The Abkhazian side recalled that the IPRM has been inactive since 2018 due to the extremely unconstructive position of the Georgian participants.

As for the working group two, issues of a humanitarian nature were discussed within it. The representative of Abkhazia raised the topic of freedom of movement and access to education, medical care and a number of other pressing issues for citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia. The Abkhazian side proposed the creation of a working group with the involvement of international specialists, the purpose of which would be to find ways to solve the problem of exercising the rights of citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia to freedom of movement using Abkhazian passports.

Within the 61st round of the Geneva Discussions, meetings between the delegation of the Republic of Abkhazia and GID participants from the Russian Federation, the USA and the EU also took place.

The next round of Geneva discussions is scheduled for December 2024.

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