Geneva International Discussions Co-chairs paid a visit to Tbilisi on February 6-7. The delegation was composed of the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia and Co-Chair of the Geneva International Discussions, Toivo Klaar, the representative of the United Nations in the international discussions in Geneva Jihan Sultanoglu, and the co-moderator of the Geneva discussions and senior political officer from the OSCE Conflict Prevention Center Siegfried Wöber, held meetings at the Administration of the Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meeting of Co-Chairs with PM Irakli Garibashvili
The situation in the occupied territories of Georgia was discussed at the meeting between Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and the Co-Chairs of GID.
It was noted that it is essential to resolve conflicts peacefully. In this context, the importance of achieving effective, tangible results in the format of international discussions in Geneva was emphasized. The need to renew the Gali IPRM meetings was also stressed.
PM Gharibashvili thanked Klaar for his personal efforts in the process of peaceful resolution of the conflict and once again confirmed the commitment of the Georgian government to this policy.
Meeting at the MFA
On 6 February, a meeting was held at the Foreign Ministry with the Co-Chairs from the EU, UN, and the OSCE.
At the meeting, the sides stressed the importance of the smooth and effective functioning of the GID as the only platform for negotiations between Georgia and Russia on the issue of Russia’s implementation of the August 12, 2008 ceasefire agreement.
In this context, the importance of making progress on the central issues on the agenda of the international negotiations in Geneva was stressed: Russia’s fulfillment of its international obligations under the ceasefire agreement and the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees.
Earlier last week, the Co-Chairs announced the postponement to April of the Geneva round planned for February 21-22. In the press statement, the Co-Chairs reiterated their commitment to consult in person with all participants. A spokesperson for the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia told Civil.ge that the meeting was postponed “because of “timing issues.”
The “foreign minister” of Russia-occupied Abkhazia, Inal Ardzinba, issued a statement on January 31, saying the 57 GID round was “unilaterally” canceled by the EU, UN, and OSCE. He said the decision is “partisan in nature” and “creates additional threats to stability and security.”
The Russian MFA, in its statement, assessed the postponement of GID February round as “absolutely artificial” and said the decision, “taken without preliminary consultations with all delegations as the continuation of the destructive course of the westerners aimed at blocking the work of GID.”
Abkhaz and Russian participants of GID refused to host the co-Chairs for scheduled meetings, while there is no information yet about the potential meeting in Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia. The Russian MFA noted that “Abkhaz and Ossetian allies fully agree with Russian assessments.”
Meeting between PM Irakli Garibashvili and EUSR Toivo Klaar
Today, PM Garibashvili also met with Toivo Klaar separately in his role as the EUSR for the South Caucasus.
The sides reportedly discussed the security environment and challenges in the region. The meeting noted Georgia’s successful mediation, which resulted in Azerbaijan handing over prisoners of war to the Armenian side and Armenia handing over maps of mined areas, followed by the meeting of the two presidents in Tbilisi.
PM Garibashvili expressed his willingness to continue mediating between the two neighboring countries.
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