Toivo Klaar, the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, who arrived to Georgia for his week-long visit yesterday, kicked-off official meetings with Georgian officials on today on January 21.
In his remarks following the meeting with Georgian Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani today, the EU Special representative stressed that the crossing points connecting occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia with Georgia proper “need to be reopened.” Klaar further noted that “the population on the ground should not be suffering as it is right now.”
“It is particularly important that we look to find ways to make things easier for the population of the ground, and in this regard, of course, in particular the closure of the crossing points to Akhalgori, to South Ossetia is incredibly important,” he said.
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According to Klaar, at the today’s meeting with the Georgian FM, they discussed the situation regarding the conflict, the situation on the Tskhinvali occupation line, recent developments in Abkhazia as well as EU- Georgia relations.
“I believe that we need to work very hard in year 2020. We will be back in the region again with my two colleagues, the Co-Chairs [of Geneva International Discussions] from the United Nations and the OSCE in few weeks,” he said, noting that they will then travel to Tskhinvali and Sokhumi.
On his part, Minister Zalkaliani said the two had “a very detailed conversation” about the situation in occupied regions. Zalkaliani stressed that he clearly stated the position of Georgia about Russian illegal occupation and “borderization” process during the meeting with the Eu Special Representative, noting that the occupying regime is trying to lead the processes to escalation.
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He also added that “it is unacceptable” that the occupying regime is using the “humanitarian issues to achieve their illegal goals.” According to Zalkaliani, he asked Toivo Klaar, who serves as a GID Co-Chair, to raise this issue “at the bilateral dialogue with Russia, as well as with the occupying regimes.”