Seven More Countries, NATO Condemn Syria’s Recognition of Abkhazia, S. Ossetia

Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and the United Kingdom joined in denouncing Syria’s recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia as independent states.

Estonian Foreign Ministry said on May 29 that it deplores “blatant violation” of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity “by Russia-backed Syrian regime.”

“International community must stand in unity to oppose such a step. Our stance is clear: the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia,” the statement reads.

In its yesterday’s statement Päivi Peltokoski, Director of the Unit for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland underscored that the country “fully aligns with the EU statement on the establishment of diplomatic relations between Syria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” and stressed that their support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia “stands firm.”

Andreas Peschke, Germany’s Director for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia called the Syrian decision “unacceptable step,” and that “Germany [is] fully in line.”

Foreign Ministries of Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine were also unanimous in condemning Bashar al-Assad’s recognition of the occupied territories.

Expressing its “full solidarity” to Georgia, Lithuanian Foreign Ministry condemned “in strongest terms cynical violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Kremlin controlled Assad regime.”

“Such a decision is yet another breach of the norms and principles of international law by the Assad regime and clearly demonstrates the eagerness of the current Syrian authorities to please the Kremlin,” Ukrainian Foreign Ministry noted.

In his today’s statement the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan also emphasized that it is “utterly unacceptable” that the Assad regime has recognized the so-called “independence” of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region.

Duncan said the British Government reiterates its full support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders, and that “the Russian military intervention in Georgia in 2008 and its subsequent recognition of the breakaway territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as so-called “independent states” was an unacceptable violation of the sovereign rights of Georgia.”

“This move will do nothing to bring peace closer. Once again, both the Syrian regime and Russia are aggressively trying to undermine the rules-based international order,” Duncan stated.

In her statement on May 29, the NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu underscored that “Syria’s decision will not affect the broad international understanding that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia.”

“All NATO Allies support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. Though NATO is not participating in the Geneva talks, we encourage all parties to engage constructively and pursue peaceful conflict resolution in the internationally recognised territory of Georgia,” the statement reads.

Syria’s recognition of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region on May 29 were denounced by Tbilisi and the international community, including the United States and the European Union.

Russia, Venezuela, Nauru and Nicaragua are the only other nations that recognize the two regions’ independence from Georgia.


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