EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia, Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) Toivo Klaar held a meeting with Reconciliation Minister Tea Akhvlediani in Tbilisi on 10 September.
The Minister emphasized the importance of the special role and involvement of the European Union in the process of peaceful conflict resolution, including by “promoting the restoration of trust between the artificially divided societies.”
According to the Ministry, the two discussed the human rights situation in occupied Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Particular attention was paid to the process of implementing reconciliation and engagement policies based on a person-centric, status-neutral, and needs-based approach to populations affected by conflict.
Special Representative Klaar hinted at the possibility that GID talks could restart in the near future in a Tweet published upon his arrival which stated, “back again to start preparations for the next GID round and to also discuss regional developments.”
Officially, the 56th Round of GID Talks, originally slated for March, was canceled following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Due to subsequent closure of the European airspace to Russian carriers, the travel of Russian representatives was also impeded.
In the months that followed, both Moscow and Sukhumi have called for resumption of GID in another venue. In June, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry (MFA) stated that GID should be moved to a “more neutral place acceptable to all participants.” At the time, the Russian MFA cited the “destructiveness of the steps taken by the United States, the European Union, the OSCE, as well as Switzerland, which creates serious obstacles to the normal functioning of the Geneva format” behind its demand. Abkhaz “foreign minister” Inal Ardinba asserted in July that the Geneva talks should be moved to “another, less biased place and city, where there will be great opportunities and working conditions for all parties in the negotiation process.”
Responding to similar Russian accusations in a comment with Civil.ge, EUSR Toivo Klaar said back in April that “the decision to postpone the recent round was taken in order to protect the process and to avoid a situation where the international environment, in particular the war in Ukraine, would negatively affect the proceedings of the round itself and thereby of the GID as a whole.”