The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), Toivo Klaar and Annika Söder from the EU and OSCE respectively, and UN representative Azat Lachinyan held meetings in Tbilisi, Tskhinvali and Sokhumi on March 1-3, in preparation for the 52nd round of talks slated for March 25-26.
At the meeting in Tbilisi, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia highlighted recent “provocative” actions by Russia, including talks of a “Union State” with occupied Abkhazia, as well as the “common socio-economic space” program adopted by Sokhumi and Moscow.
According to the Foreign Ministry statement, the Georgian delegation plans to raise the issue of arbitrary detentions along the occupation line at the upcoming GID round, including Georgian citizen Zaza Gakheladze’s illegal sentencing.
After Tbilisi, the Co-Chairs traveled to Russian-occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, where they met on March 2 Murat Jioev and other S. Ossetian interlocutors.
Local media cited Jioev as saying that the Kremlin-backed authorities will again raise the issue of the Georgian police post in the Chorchana-Tsnelisi area at the upcoming round. Reports said Tskhinvali also plans to push for the agreement on non-use of force with Georgia.
At the March 3 meeting with the GID Co-Chairs in Sokhumi, the Kremlin-backed Abkhaz “deputy foreign minister” Irakli Tuzhba also highlighted the issue of the non-use of force agreement.
According to the Abkhaz “foreign ministry,” Tuzhba said Abkhaz security is threatened by “military-technical cooperation” between Georgia and the West, claiming it “could lead to unpredictable consequences and provoke a new escalation of tension in the region.”