Tbilisi: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia distributes an official statement in connection with the 45th round of the Geneva talks.
“On October 9, 2018, the 45th round of the Geneva International Negotiations took place, where the main focus was on ensuring the effective operation of the mechanisms for preventing incidents and responding to them, as well as on the need to enforce the murder justice of Archil Tatunashvili, Gigi Othozoria, and David Basharuli.
The co-chairs and participants appreciated the progress of the Geneva talks 10 years after the start of discussions.
In this context, the significant role of the Geneva format, as well as the mechanisms for preventing and responding to incidents in Gali and Ergneti, in preventing escalation against the background of the fact that incidents and provocations are daily occurring were emphasized. Participants from Georgia condemned the destructive steps of Russia and its occupation regimes against the IPRM. The co-chairs, participants from the United States and Georgia stressed the need to return the mechanisms in Gali and Ergneti to the working mode, with full respect for the fundamental principles and rules.
Representatives of the United States, the observation mission of the European Union and Georgia noted that the Russian Federation was grossly violating the cease-fire agreement issued through the mediation of the European Union on August 12, 2008, and called on Russia to fully comply with its international obligations, including withdrawing the occupying forces from Georgia.
In this context, they condemned the Russian illegal military presence in the Abkhaz and Tskhinvali regions, the increasing frequency of military exercises and the violation of Georgia’s airspace, which is aimed at further destabilizing the situation on the ground. Against this background, special attention was paid to the confirmation and fulfillment by Moscow of the obligation not to use force, as well as the need to create international security mechanisms in the occupied territories of Georgia.
Participants from Georgia expressed alarm at the continuation of the actual annexation by the Russian Federation of the Abkhaz and Tskhinvali regions.
The deteriorated security situation was also noted in terms of human rights both in the Abkhaz and Tskhinvali regions and in the territories near the occupation line. They condemned the continuation of the construction of barbed wire and various artificial barriers in the occupied territory, illegal detentions, including cases of abductions of Maya Otinashvili and Akaki Dotiashvili.
One of the main themes of the agenda was ethnic discredit in the Gali district, which forces the indigenous Georgian population to choose between leaving the region and being registered as foreigners.
Emphasis was placed on the prohibition of receiving education in their native language in the Georgian schools of Gali and Akhalgori. It was noted that by such actions, Moscow pursues a targeted policy of Russification of the population living in the occupied regions.
Participants from Georgia and the United States spoke about the problems of freedom of movement and restricting access to their land plots, the dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation created as a result of the closure of the so-called transitional points and various restrictions imposed on the occupation line.
The representatives of Georgia stressed the responsibility of Russia, as a force exercising effective control, for the facts of gross violations of human rights in the occupied territories.
A significant issue of discussion was the need for the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.
Co-chairs, co-moderators, and participants from the United States and Georgia drew attention to the need for a substantive consideration of this important issue in the framework of the Geneva international negotiations and achieving progress. They called on Russia and representatives of its occupation regimes to participate constructively in discussions on this issue. Despite this, the participants from Moscow, Sukhumi, and Tskhinvali showed traditional destructiveness, they again tried to politicize humanitarian themes and left the negotiating room during the discussion of the refugee issue,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The next round of negotiations will take place on December 11-12, 2018.