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Mikheil Janelidze (center) at the CoE Ministerial in Elsinore, Denmark, May 18, 2018. Photo: Georgian Foreign Ministry

Georgian FM Speaks on Abkhazia, S.Ossetia at CoE Ministerial

Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze addressed the 128th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (CoE) in Elsinore, Denmark, and focused in his remarks on the security environment and human rights violations in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia.

“When we talk about human rights we should draw special attention to the conflicts,” Minister Janelidze said in his address, adding that it was “unacceptable that in the 21st century” there were people in Europe “living under military occupation, or the ones being unable to return to their homes due to the military threat.”

The Foreign Minister also noted that hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons from these two regions were “continuously denied to return to their homes, while those who live under occupation are subject of ethnically-targeted discrimination, deprived of basic human rights.”

“While Georgia is achieving highest standard of human rights protection on the government-controlled territory, the human rights situation in the occupied regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali – has further aggravated since we met last year,” Janelidze added.

He also touched upon the cases of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria, murdered at the hands of the Moscow-backed authorities of Tskhinvali and Sokhumi, respectively, and stressed that these two instances “are a stark reminder of the human cost endured by the occupation and yet another violation of the right to life.”

As part of his visit to Denmark, Minister Janelidze met separately with the foreign leaders, including the Danish Foreign Minister, Anders Samuelsen, and the German State Minister for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, Michael Roth, with the sides discussing bilateral cooperation, and the process of Georgia’s European integration.

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