Comment of the Head of the Georgian delegation to the Geneva International Discussions, David Dondua

Published in Politics
Tuesday, 14 June 2016 17:50

The 36th round of the Geneva International Discussions will be held on 14 and 15 March 2016.
Within the framework of this round, Georgia will pose the issue of the murder committed in the village of Khurcha, Zugdidi District, by so-called border guards deployed across the occupation line and will require the immediate detention and surrender of the alleged murderer to the Georgian side, in order to ensure that he is brought to justice in Georgia. The detention of the murderer is of principal importance for the avoidance of any possible provocation and of further escalation of the situation. It is to be hoped that the Russian Federation and its occupation regime in Sokhumi will realize this responsibility and will do their utmost to detain the accused and to surrender him to Georgia within the shortest possible time. 
Georgia will pose directly the issue relating to the continued process of installation of barbed wire fences and so-called border signs across the occupation line. The latest six cases were reported from the village of Avlevi, on 6 June. The murder in Khurcha and the reinforcement of the occupation line with various artificial barriers provides yet another clear proof of the need to create guarantees for the free and safe movement across the occupation line.  
The necessity for Russia to undertake the non-use of force commitment, in reciprocation of the unilateral pledge repeatedly made by Georgia; to create international security arrangements on the ground and to achieve progress on the matters relating to the return of refugees and internally displaced persons still remains high on the agenda. The murder of Giga Otkhozoria has provided a clear proof of the difficult situation in Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, both in terms of security and human rights protection, as well as of the urgent necessity to create international security arrangements in the occupied territories. Discrimination against ethnic Georgians and the banning of the native language education in the Gali district will also be main themes of 

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    The 52nd Round of the Geneva International Discussions was held on 26 March, 2021. The deteriorated security and humanitarian situation in Georgia’s occupied territories on the background of the COVID-19 pandemic, intensification of the de-facto annexation process by the Russian Federation and the release of the illegally detained Georgian citizens were among the main topics of the discussions.

    In the frames of the negotiations the Georgian delegation talked extensively about the historic Judgment of the European Court of Human rights, which creates a significant international legal instrument in the process of peaceful conflict resolution. Participants from Georgia underlined that the Court established the Russian Federation’s effective control over and occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia and hence ruled the Russian Federation’s responsibility for the human rights violations during the August 2008 War and the subsequent period of occupation. The Georgian delegation stated that the ECHR underlined the Russian Federation’s responsibility for ethnic cleansing of Georgian population and for hampering the implementation of the right of return of IDPs and refugees. The Georgian participants also pointed to those parts of the Judgment which highlight the non-compliance with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement by the Russian Federation and its continuous large-scale military presence in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia in violation of the undertaken obligations.

    Intensification of de-facto annexation process of Georgia’s occupied territories was raised sharply in light of the adoption of the “programme” for creation of a common social-economic space between the Russian Federation and Abkhazia region, as well as in the context of discussions by the President of Russia with the Sokhumi occupation regime about the creation of a “union state”. Georgian participants talked extensively about the intensified provocations carried out by the Russian federation on the background of COVID-19 pandemic, building a new Berlin wall in terms of erecting barbed-wire fences and other artificial barriers, as well as about the facts of illegal kidnappings and detentions of people living along the occupation line. The Georgian delegation demanded unconditional release of all the Georgian citizens being under the illegal detention in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.
     
    Significant attention was paid to the increased militarisation and regular military exercises in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia, continuation of the creeping occupation in the territory adjacent to the village Chorchana, as well as Russia’s intensified use of the hybrid war instruments, which serves for the destabilisation of the situation in the country.
     
    An important part of the negotiations was dedicated to the grave humanitarian and social-economic consequences of the restriction of freedom of movement along the occupation line. Dire conditions of the residents of Gali and Akhalgori districts as well as of the Codori Gorge was stressed in this context. Fatal results entailed by hampering medical evacuations was emphasised and necessity of unimpeded access to healthcare services of people living in the occupied territories was underlined. Georgian participants raised the issue of restriction of freedom of movement of Tamar Mearakishvili, the activist from Akhalgori district, who had not been allowed to cross the occupation line and visit her family by Tskhinvali occupation regime for years.
    The talks also focused on ethnic discrimination of Georgians remained in the occupied territories, grave consequence of the restriction of education in native language, as well as crucial importance of protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of local population. The Georgian delegation pointed to the increased attempts of russification and isolation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions from the rest of Georgia.
     
    It was highlighted that the impunity in the cases of murder of David Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili encouraged ethnically based violence and crime. The Georgian delegation once again raised the issue of the necessity for execution of justice in the mentioned cases.
     
    The emphasis was made on the need for access of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM), as well as international human rights organisations in Georgia’s occupied territories. The necessity for ensuring unimpeded humanitarian support for the conflict-affected people during the COVID-19 pandemic was stressed, which in its turn represents one of the main obligations under the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.
     
    Extensive talks were held on the efficient use of the negotiations formats, including the need for regular and proper functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs). In this context the necessity of unconditional resumption of Gali IPRM and unhindered work of Ergmeti IPRM was underlined.
     
    The necessity of adequately addressing problems and needs of conflict-affected and IDP women was highlighted in both working groups and the importance of amplification of “Women, Peace and Security” agenda in peace negotiations was underlined.
     
    Active discussions were held on the major agenda items such as non-use of force and establishment of international security arrangements. The Georgian delegation underlined crucial importance of reiteration and implementation of the non-use of force obligation by Russia in light of Moscow’s continued use of force and threat of use of force against Georgia through its illegal military presence and regular military exercises in the occupied territories.  The Georgian participants stressed that the only guarantee for the ceasefire and non-use of force was the deployment of international security mechanisms in the occupied territories, which would have been a milestone in the process of lasting peace and security on the ground. Georgian participants made emphasis on the issue of implementation of EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement by Russia, as well as demanded withdrawal of Russian occupation forces from the territory of Georgia and deployment of international security mechanisms on the ground.
     
    Active exchange of views took place on one of the major agenda items like safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees expelled as a result of ethnic cleansing from Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions of Georgia. Despite the attempts of the Georgian delegation for non-politicised discussion of the issue the Russian Federation and the representatives of the occupation regimes once again tried to use this topic for political manipulations and left the negotiations table during the discussions on this agenda item.
     
    The next round of the GID will be held on 29-30 June 2021.
     
    Geneva International Discussions were launched on the basis of the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement. Discussions are held within the frames of two Working Groups, where participants are represented in their individual capacity. In the first Working Group talks are focused on security and stability in the occupied territories of Georgia, while in second Working Group – on humanitarian and human rights situation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions, as well as on the issues related to safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees to the places of their origin. The discussions are held with Co-Chairmanship of the EU, UN and OSCE, and participation of Georgia, the Russian Federation and the USA. The Head of the Provisional Administration of the former South Ossetian Autonomous District and the Chairman of the Government of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, as well as the representatives of the Sokhumi and Tskhinvali occupation regimes also attend the Working Groups.
     
    Press Service of the MFA Administration
  • Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia on the developments at the occupation line, close to the village Chorchana situated in the territory controlled by the government of Georgia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses concern about mobilisation of military equipment and personnel by the occupation forces at the occupation line, close to the village Chorchana situated in the territory controlled by the government of Georgia.

    Such destructive actions, as wells as the totally unacceptable statements of the leaders of the occupation regime represent yet another provocation, which further aggravates the security environment and aims at destabilisation of the situation.

    Georgia fully complies with the undertaken commitments, firmly pursues the peaceful conflict resolution policy and uses all the available diplomatic instruments in order to reach deescalation of the situation and stopping the illegal processes.

    The Georgian side continues to inform the international community about the developments on the ground and works closely with the Co-chairmen of the Geneva International Discussions, the EUMM and the diplomatic corps accredited in Tbilisi.

    At the same time the Georgian delegation raised the issue at the meeting of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism in Ergneti on the 29th of August.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls on the Russian Federation to cease such illegal actions, implement its international commitments, inter alia the 12 August, 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to give due reaction on the illegal developments at the occupation line and take the relevant measures to ensure these actions are ceased.

    http://mfa.gov.ge/News/saqartvelos-sagareo-saqmeta-saministros-ganck-(52).aspx?lang=en-US

  • David Dondua comments on the meeting with EU Ambassador to Georgia

    The European Union’s position with respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia is clearly manifested in a great number of its statements and official comments, including in the statement issued on 8 April by the European Union External Action Service on the so-called presidential elections and the referendum conducted in Georgia’s occupied Tskhinvali region. 
    Statements like those made by the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis and the Co-chair of the Geneva International Discussions are totally unacceptable and contradict the European Union’s policy and position with respect to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

  • David Dondua has met with representatives of the non-governmental organizations and expert communities

    Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua met with representatives of the non-governmental organizations and expert communities dealing with conflict issues. The Deputy Minister shared with representatives of the civil society information on the Geneva International Discussions and the Georgian Government’s steps towards resolution of the conflicts.
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  • David Dondua has participated in the International Conference on Nuclear Security organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency

    Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Dondua took part in the ministerial segment of the International Conference on Nuclear Security. Within the framework of the Ministerial segment, David Dondia made a statement on behalf of Georgia where he focused on the importance of physical protection of nuclear and radioactive substances for the prevention of their illegal circulation. In this context the deputy Foreign Minister highlighted the threats emanating from Georgia’s occupied territories.
    David Dondua also spoke about the reforms that have been carried out or are still ongoing in Georgia, focusing on the close and fruitful co-operation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
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    Within the framework of the Ministerial segment, the participants adopted a declaration on nuclear security.

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