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Tbilisi Wants UN Experts to Review Abkhaz Peace Process

Georgia is trying to convince Russia to agree in the UN to a proposal to set up a group of experts which would carry out a comprehensive analysis of why the decade-old peace process in Abkhazia has failed to yield any results, Irakli Alasania, Georgia?s ambassador to the UN, said on October 24.

Speaking at the hearings of the parliamentary commission on territorial integrity, Alasania said ?majority members? of the UN Security Council were supportive of the proposal.

He also said that the proposal involved setting up a group of experts which would be led by a special representative appointed by the UN Secretary General.

?However, Russia?s consent is also needed to initiate the process. Therefore, we are currently holding consultations with Russia,? Alasania added.

In his address to the UN General Assembly Session on September 26, President Saakashvili said that not a single ?in-depth analysis? had been conducted in fourteen years into why the UN efforts had failed in Abkhazia. For this reason and in order to inject a new positive dynamic, he said, ?I am calling on the UN today to launch a comprehensive review of all aspects of the peace process.?

This review, he pointed out, should result in ?fundamental changes? and first and foremost in the negotiation format and peacekeeping operation, ?which is stagnant and counterproductive.?

Alasania, however, told Georgian lawmakers on October 24, that the proposal to launch an in-depth analysis of the peace process did not mean that Tbilisi was ?rejecting the current tools.? ?The UN should know that Georgia is committed to fulfilling its commitments,? he added.

He said that the Georgian side was planning on holding a conference at the UN headquarters on November 29 on issues related to the Abkhaz conflict. The chairman of the Abkhaz government-in-exile, Malkhaz Akishbaia, will participate in the conference, Alasania said.

He also pointed out that the Georgian side?s major diplomatic priority at the UN was to convince Security Council members to condemn in its next resolution on Abkhazia, expected for April, what Tbilisi calls, ?the ethnic cleansing? of Georgians in Abkhazia.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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