GID Co-Chairs Visit Sokhumi, Tskhinvali

Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar, and the UN Representative Ayşe Cihan Sultanoğlu visited occupied Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia.

Meeting in Sokhumi

In Sokhumi, the GID Co-chairs met with the Abkhaz “deputy foreign minister” Irakli Tuzhba on 9 November. According to the Abkhaz “foreign ministry,” the main topic of the meeting was the agenda for the 57th Round of the GID talks. In that context, Tuzhba noted that at this stage, their priority on the GID agenda remains the agreement on the non-use of force.

In that context, Tuzhba lamented that no progress had been made in that direction, blaming Georgia’s “destructive position” on the subject.

He claimed that the “high probability of an escalation of tension in the region due to the military activity of Georgia,” increases the need for the non-use of force agreement.

Tuzhba also raised the issue of freedom of movement for those holding Abkhaz citizenship, and stressed that “the issue of recognizing Abkhazian national passports as travel documents is becoming more relevant.”

He argued that a discriminatory practice was being applied to Abkhazia and that “this is a very serious humanitarian problem that needs to be addressed.”

As part of his argument, he pointed to other cases in which members of the international community have chosen to recognize travel documents that have been the subject of dispute in order to allow people to travel and alleviate humanitarian problems.

Notably, the meeting also considered the need to take steps in the direction of resuming the work of the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) format. The Gali IPRM has been stalled since 2018 when Russian and Abkhaz participants left the 57th meeting over disagreements about the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list.

Meeting in Tskhinvali

According to the S. Ossetian “foreign ministry,” Tskhinvali emphasized the need to strengthen the existing system of regional security and stability, while also reiterating its position on the need to sign the non-use of force agreement.

Tskhinvali also reaffirmed its “commitment” to continuing the work of the GID format, despite the “challenging global geopolitical situation.”

In that context, they highlighted the importance of the IPRM and the hotline, which is in use on a regular basis.

Like Tuzhba, the Tskhinvali representatives also raised concerns about the “ongoing military enlargement of foreign states in the territory of Georgia,” and claimed that Georgia’s biological laboratories represented a threat.

Tskhinvali also raised the issue of the Chorchana-Tsnelisi police checkpoint.

The 57th Round of GID is reportedly set to take place in February 2023.

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


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