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Geneva Talks Co-Chairs Hold Meetings in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali, Sokhumi

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On September 16-18, co-chairs of Geneva International Discussions (GID) held meetings in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Sokhumi ahead of the upcoming 49th round of GID scheduled for October 8-9.

Meeting in Tbilisi

At the meeting with the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia on September 16, particular attention was paid to the recent developments along the occupation line, including Tskhinvali’s closure of crossing points with the rest of Georgia, as well as the dispute over Georgian police checkpoint in Chorchana-Tsnelisi area.

The Foreign Ministry press office reported that at the meeting Lasha Darsalia underscored that the Russian Federation is “regularly violating” the August 2008 ceasefire agreement. He also emphasized that “the ongoing illegal militarization and military drills” in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as Russia’s steps are aimed to Georgia’s “factual annexation.”

Restrictions to freedom of movement and education in their native language, ethnic discrimination of Georgians as well as grave violation of rights of civic activists in Akhalgori district were also on the agenda.

Officials from Tbilisi again raised the issue of “restoring justice” in the cases of the deaths of Georgian citizens Irakli Kvaratskhelia, Archil TatunashviliGiga Otkhozoria and Davit Basharuli. The necessity of resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in Gali “without any preconditions” was also discussed.

Lasha Darsalia reiterated Georgia’s commitment to deescalate the situation and the peaceful resolution of conflict. He also asked GID co-chairs “to enable solution of problems of the conflict-affected population and the lasting peace” through the GIDs and IPRMs.

Meetings in Tskhinvali and Sokhumi

At the meeting with GID co-chairs on September 17, the Moscow-backed leader of Tskhinvali Anatoly Bibilov spoke of the “crisis at the border,” saying “the provocative and illegal actions from Georgia on the territory of South Ossetia,” pose “direct threat to the security of the local population.”

According to Bibilov, Georgia is making “unconstructive actions” and called on the co-chairs to make the Georgian side “dismantle illegal checkpoint,” to ensure further stability on the ground.

The Moscow-backed Sokhumi “foreign minister” Daur Kove also met with GID co-chairs on September 18. Kove expressed concern over the situation “at the border between South Ossetia and Georgia.” The meeting also focused on the humanitarian issues, freedom of movement and environmental safety that will be raised at the upcoming GID in October.

The GID – the multilateral forum to address security and humanitarian consequences of the Russo-Georgian War of August 2008 – are co-chaired by representatives of OSCE, EU and UN, and involve participants from Georgia, Russia and the United States, as well as members of both the Georgian exiled administrations of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and the two regions’ Russian-backed authorities, in their personal capacities. Sessions are held in two working groups, with the first group discussing peace and security matters, and the second – humanitarian concerns.

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

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