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Georgia in OSCE Ministerial Council Statements

Foreign Ministers and senior diplomats from several participating states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) made statements on Georgia in their addresses at the 27th Ministerial Council scheduled to take place in Tirana, Albania on December 3-4, but held online via video teleconferencing due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Below are the Georgia-related excerpts from their statements as delivered:

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama: “Our chairmanship has also sought to prioritize the situation of conflict-affected populations in Georgia. There were glimpses of cooperation and pragmatism on public health issues which the OSCE nurtured through its good offices. In fact, the OSCE was able to increase its regular contact with all stakeholders. At the same time, however, we observed the erection of additional obstacles as part of so-called borderization efforts, and we saw limitations on the freedom of movement of local residents across the district boundary lines. These restrictions magnify socioeconomic hardships and in some cases place an additional burden on those seeking medical care. The dialogue efforts of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) had to be postponed, although, we welcome the commitment of all participants to reconvene those talks next week, after a pause of nearly a year.”

European Union High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell: “We reiterate our conviction that the protracted conflicts in our area can be resolved only if participating States agree to solve them in line with the OSCE principles. This is the case for Nagorno-Karabakh but also Georgia, through the Geneva international discussions, and Moldova.”

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President, Giorgi Tsereteli: “In an organization in which every participant is accountable to the others, it is, of course, legitimate and necessary to address these issues where we see a failure to comply with OSCE and other international standards. We as the OSCE PA have been very outspoken on this, whether it is the violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity in countries like Ukraine and Georgia, minority rights, democratic backsliding, or human rights atrocities.”

OSCE Officer-in-Charge/Secretary General, Tuula Yrjölä: “Processes where the OSCE is involved remain active mostly in virtual mode with support from the Secretariat as appropriate. Even if formal meetings have not been possible for all of them, work has continued in the Trilateral Contact Group pursuing a peaceful solution to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, in the Geneva International Discussions on consequences of the 2008 conflict in Georgia, in the Transnistria settlement process, and of course by the Minsk Group Co-Chairs.”

United Kingdom, Foreign Minister Dominic Raab: “Across the OSCE region we see ongoing conflict, gross violations of the Helsinki [Final Act] principles. The impact on regional stability and on the affected populations is absolutely devastating… In Georgia, civilians continue to be detained arbitrarily in the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.”

Sweden, Foreign Minister Ann Linde: “This tragic event [escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] should also serve as a reminder why the protracted conflicts in Georgia and Moldova need our continued attention and political commitment.”

Czech Republic, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček: “As for the continuing occupation of parts of Georgia, we call on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 ceasefire agreement.”

Romania, Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu: “Let me also reaffirm Romania’s strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.”

United States, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun: “Moscow’s forces are also deployed in Moldova and Georgia without host nation consent. Russia’s use of disinformation and other hybrid methods is an omnipresent challenge to all of our countries, as Moscow seeks to undermine the democratic principles of other states.”

Cyprus, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides: “I also take this opportunity to express support to the OSCE’s ongoing efforts for finding lasting settlements to the protracted conflicts in Moldova and in Georgia within the agreed formats.”

Denmark, Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod: “We also maintain our unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.”

Finland, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto: “Finland fully supports OSCE efforts towards the resolution of conflicts in the territory of Georgia and in the Republic of Moldova within the existing agreed formats.”

Poland, Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau: “Other protracted conflicts in Georgia and Moldova also need to be resolved in line with OSCE principles.”

Lithuania, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius: “Detentions in the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali, as well as the recent flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh highlight the need for a sustainable solution for protracted conflicts.”

Latvia, Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs: “Continued borderization activities beyond the South Ossetian administrative boundary continues to infringe on the territorial integrity of Georgia, and that is unacceptable.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Foreign Minister Bisera Turković: “We support the OSCE in facilitating a peaceful solution to the conflicts in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, where the peace processes need to be empowered to achieve more results and direct benefits for people concerned.”

Norway, Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide: “In Georgia the borderization of occupied regions continues and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has led to widespread disruption and deprivation.”

Representatives of Iceland and Croatia also noted their support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, while Heads of the Delegations from Bulgaria, Greece, and Montenegro expressed concern over protracted conflicts in Georgia’s occupied regions.

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

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