On 6 March 2023, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia, held a meeting with the members of Chairman of the International and Inter-Parliamentary Relations Committee of the Milli Majlis, and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, who are on an official visit to Georgia.
Discussions focused on the importance of the strategic cooperation, including the inter-parliamentary Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan cooperation.
Special attention was paid to the new regional project on strategic partnership in the field of green energy development and transmission initiated by Georgia.
The parties talked about the complex security environment of the region, existing challenges and the importance of diplomatic efforts. Opportunities of the region and aspects of future cooperation were highlighted. The sides stated that they are ready to make appropriate contributions to ensuring regional peace and stability.
During the meeting, the Turkish side expressed special thanks to Georgia for the invaluable assistance provided to the Republic of Turkey after the devastating earthquake.
The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, has met with the head of the delegation of the ICRCFriday, 17 February 2023 16:56
On 15 February 2023, the First Deputy Minister, Lasha Darsalia met with the head of the delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Georgia, Anne Montavon.
Discussions focused on issues of cooperation between Georgia and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The first deputy minister thanked the head of the delegation of the ICRC for the humanitarian efforts made by the organization in Georgia, especially for the support of the population living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions and people affected by the Russia-Georgia conflict.
At the meeting, attention was focused on the difficult situation in terms of humanitarian and human rights on the ground, and in this context, the role and importance of active involvement of international organizations was emphasized.
At the end of the meeting, the parties confirmed their readiness to continue close cooperation.
On 14 February 2023, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lasha Darsalia, held a meeting with the members of the Council of Europe delegation, who arrived in Georgia to prepare the 27th consolidated report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe - "Conflict in Georgia".
The Georgian side provided the CoE delegation with information about the serious security, humanitarian and human rights situation in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions occupied by Russia.
Discussions focused on Russia’s provocative and illegal actions in the occupied regions and across the occupation line, which further aggravate the situation on the ground.
The Georgian side drew special attention to the recent facts of human rights violations. While on the subject of the Geneva International Discussions, the sides noted the importance of this format in terms of achieving progress on the main issues of the agenda, such as the fulfillment of international obligations assumed by Russia under the Ceasefire Agreement of 12 August 2008, as well as the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees.
The sides also emphasized the importance of resuming Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings in Gali without any preconditions and the importance of smooth and regular functioning of Ergneti IPRM.
Lasha Darsalia highlighted the importance of maintaining the issues related to the occupied regions high on the international agenda, and emphasized in this context the significance of the consolidated reports of the Secretary General.
Within the framework of the visit, the Council of Europe delegation will hold meetings with the Minister of State for Reconciliation and Civil Equality; First Deputy Minister of IDPs from Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Protection; with the State Security Service and the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia. The Council of Europe delegation will also visit the occupation line.
MFA of Georgia
The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has met with the Secretary General of the Council of EuropeMonday, 21 November 2022 11:27
As part of his visit to Strasbourg, on 16 November, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia, held a meeting with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić.
According to the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, it is important to keep the issues related to the occupied regions of Georgia high on the agenda of the Council of Europe and thanked the Secretary General for preparing the 26th consolidated report, which provides the international community with information regarding the situation in the Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions occupied by Russia.
During the meeting, Lasha Darsalia provided the Secretary General with detailed information on the security, human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions of Georgia.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe emphasized the importance of the practice of preparing a consolidated report.
The sides expressed close interest in exchanging high-level visits taking into account the existing environment in the region.
The sides once again underlined their commitment to close cooperation between Georgia and the Council of Europe.
Lasha Darsalia has met with the personal representatives of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on promoting tolerance and combating discriminationWednesday, 14 September 2022 09:36
On 8 September 2022, Personal Representatives of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office on promoting tolerance and combating discrimination: Rabbi Andrew Baker, Ambassador Ibrahim Haqi Musa and Associate Professor Dr. Regina Polak visited Georgia: The purpose of the visit is to assess the best practices and challenges of promoting tolerance and combating discrimination in the OSCE Member States.
On 13 September, the members of the delegation met with the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lasha Darsalia. At the meeting, the sides discussed issues of close cooperation between Georgia and the OSCE.
Lasha Darsalia spoke about the policy of promoting peaceful coexistence and equal opportunities for Georgian citizens of different ethnic origin and religious beliefs. It was noted that Georgia pays great attention to creating equal opportunities in all areas, including in the education sector, providing quality education and information in the minority languages . The first deputy minister provided the representatives with detailed information about the grave situation and gross and systematic violations of human rights in the Russian-occupied territories of Georgia, and also highlighted the Georgian Government’s efforts towards de-occupation and peaceful resolution of the conflict.
The First Deputy Minister also spoke about the difficult situation in Georgia’s occupied territories in terms of freedom of religion and protection of cultural monuments. According to Lasha Darsalia, a parallel event is planned to be held in Warsaw, within the framework of the Human Dimension Implementation Conference, by the end of September.
Within the framework of the visit, the members of the delegation also held meetings with representatives of other Georgian state agencies, non-governmental sector and religious organizations. The OSCE representatives will prepare a report on the visit.
Another round of political consultations has been held between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Georgia and the Republic of TurkeyThursday, 08 September 2022 12:17
Another round of political consultations at the level of deputy ministers was held between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Georgia and the Republic of Turkey. The Georgian delegation was led by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Lasha Darsalia, and the Turkish delegation - by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Sedat Önal.
According to the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sides welcomed the existing strategic partnership and close bilateral cooperation, which is celebrated this year by marking the 30th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between Georgia and Turkey.
The sides emphasized the importance of mutual exchange of high-level visits, as well as those at the level of sectoral agencies. Special mention was made of the importance of holding the third session of the High-level Strategic Council.
Discussions focused on the bilateral agenda of strategic cooperation. Attention was also paid to the ongoing regional processes and the role of Georgia and Turkey in maintaining stability and peace in the region.
The Turkish side once again confirmed its strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as well as for Georgia's integration into NATO.
Prospects for deepening trade and economic cooperation between Georgia and Turkey and attracting investments were also discussed at the meeting. The sides emphasized the need of of active interaction between the two countries in the field of transport, energy and customs. Attention was focused on issues of regional cooperation, the importance of implementing joint projects and the need to fully use the transit and transport potential of the two countries.
Special mention was made of the prospects for deepening Georgia-Turkey cooperation within the framework of international organizations. The sides once again confirmed their commitment towards active cooperation and deepening of strategic partnership. They also expressed their readiness to continue political consultations in the future.
Georgia has participated in the the Tenth Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear WeaponsWednesday, 03 August 2022 17:51
From 1 to 5 August, the Georgian delegation led by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lasha Darsalia participates in the the Tenth Review Conference on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
On 1 August, the First Deputy Minister addressed the Review Conference. In his speech, Lasha Darsalia emphasized the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in terms of maintaining the regional and global security architecture. While on the theme of nuclear security, he also spoke about the illegal actions directed against the nuclear infrastructure on the territory of Ukraine against the background of the ongoing military aggression.
The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs drew attention to the difficult situation created in the Russian-occupied territories of Georgia and various threats coming from these territories. The Georgian side emphasized the importance of maintaining the law-based international order.
As part of the review conference, the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs held bilateral meetings with representatives of Chile, Ecuador, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Romania, the Philippines and Saint Lucia.
MFA of Georgia
The newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, has handed over copies of his credentials to the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of GeorgiaTuesday, 12 July 2022 13:08
Following the presentation of credentials ceremony, the sides held a bilateral meeting, during which the sides discussed the priorities on the agenda of Georgia-Turkey bilateral relations and outlined prospects for future cooperation.
The sides expressed the hope that the close cooperation and strategic partnership between Georgia and Turkey will further deepen. The Turkish ambassador once again confirmed Turkey's unwavering support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the end of the meeting, the sides agreed on intensive cooperation in order to further activate Georgia-Turkey relations.
The fourth high-level EU–Georgia Strategic Security Dialogue took place on 25 November 2021 in Brussels. The meeting reflected the commitment and interest of both the EU and Georgia to take forward their cooperation in the area of foreign and security policy, in line with the EU-Georgia Association Agreement.
The participants discussed the conflict dynamics in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, including recent developments on the ground in relation with Russia, and stressed the importance of the implementation of the EU mediated 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement. Both sides once again highlighted the important role of the EU Monitoring Mission for peace and security in Georgia, and underlined the necessity of full implementation of its mandate. The European Union reaffirmed its unwavering support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
They also discussed a number of topical foreign policy issues, including the state of affairs and increasing security challenges in the South Caucasus and the wider region.
The EU expressed appreciation for Georgia's continued and valuable contribution to the EU Common Security and Defence Policy, particularly through Georgia’s participation in EU-led crisis management operations and missions in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Mali. The participants also discussed avenues for increased cooperation in the field of security and defence, including in relation to addressing hybrid threats and increasing Georgia's capacities and resilience. The European Union commended Georgia’s role as a transit hub during the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The dialogue was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs / Political Director of the European External Action Service Enrique Mora and First Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia Lasha Darsalia. First Deputy Defence Minister of Georgia Lela Chikovani also participated in the meeting.
Deputy Secretary-General Mora said:
"The EU continues to remain strongly engaged in efforts to achieve peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia by using all instruments at its disposal. The EU also values the role of Georgia as an important partner in promoting security both regionally and internationally. The EU has a clear interest in a secure, stable and prosperous Georgia. We want to actively contribute to durable and comprehensive settlements of all conflicts in the region, including where possible through support for confidence-building, stabilisation, and post-conflict rehabilitation measures. The EU stands ready to provide further impetus for regional cooperation and economic development of the South Caucasus, including as appropriate through the opportunities available under the Eastern Partnership."
Deputy Foreign Minister Darsalia said:
“Georgia and the EU share a common goal of promoting security and stability in Europe and beyond. This interest has been manifested in the high-level Strategic Dialogue that Georgia and EU launched in 2017. Today’s meeting is yet another confirmation that EU and Georgia stand together to strengthen our resilience to hybrid threats and counter through joint efforts challenges such as cyber threats or disinformation. We have also had an exchange on new possibilities to upgrade our security cooperation. Georgia has reaffirmed its interest to engage in the EU PESCO projects. Georgia condemns continuous provocations in and around the occupied territories of Georgia. We updated the EU on the work of the Government Commission on the Georgia’s State Strategy for De-occupation and Peaceful Conflict Resolution. We raised the issue of “Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili” List and recalled the landmark judgement of the European Court of Human Rights. Georgia emphasizes the necessity of peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict and, in this regard, underlined the importance of reaching tangible results in the Geneva International Discussions.”
The meetings of the high-level EU–Georgia Strategic Security Dialogue are held once a year and cover issues of common interest in the field of foreign and security policy, including the CSDP.
On 24 March 2020, the UN Human Rights Council adopted the Resolution on Cooperation with Georgia.
The Resolution was presented by the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia, who spoke about the severe human rights situation in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions.
Notwithstanding the repeated calls by the Human Rights Council and efforts of the High Commissioner, the Russian Federation -continues to prevent the international human rights monitoring mechanisms from entering both Russian-occupied regions of Georgia.
The Deputy Minister referred to the High Commissioner’s reports vividly depicting the deteriorating humanitarian and human rights situation on the ground, as well as the suffering of the conflict-affected people in both Georgian regions, the flagrant violations of the fundamental rights and the various forms of discrimination based on ethnic grounds, particularly affecting ethnic Georgians in both Georgian regions. The Deputy Minister underscored the negative impact of the closures of crossing points – in some cases imposed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that dozens died since the closure of the occupation line in September 2019 due to the refusing and delaying emergency evacuation.
According to the Deputy Minister, the report emphasizes that no one has been held accountable for the cases of arbitrary deprivation of life of ethnic Georgians that occurred between 2014 and 2019 and the lack of accountability therefore continued to contribute to climate of impunity, which could lead to further tensions and violence in both Georgian regions.
Speaking before the Council, Lasha Darsalia emphasized that the recent decision of the power exercising effective control in Tskhinvali region to prolong the illegal detention of Zaza Gakheladze for more than 12 years is yet another alarming example of manipulation with people’s fates.
Alarmingly, the Russian Federation continues to use the humanitarian and human rights issues for its far-reaching goal to put political pressure on the government of Georgia and further destabilize the situation on the ground.
The above-mentioned once again clearly demonstrates the urgent need of access for the OHCHR and other international human rights monitoring mechanisms to both Georgian regions.
The delegations of the EU, UK, Poland and the Czech Republic made statements in support for Georgia calling on the Council members to vote for the Resolution initiated by Georgia.
In the Resolution adopted on 24 March, the UN Human Rights Council reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. The UN Human Rights Council recognizes with appreciation the efforts of the Government of Georgia to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights.
The UN Human Rights Council welcomes the cooperation of the Government of Georgia with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as with the special procedures of the Human Rights Council.
The Resolution expresses serious concern over the human rights and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions of Georgia with special emphasis on reported kidnappings, arbitrary detention, interference with property rights, restrictions on access to education in one’s native language, free movement and residence, as well as continued discrimination on the grounds of ethnic origin in both regions.
The Resolution expresses serious concern at the continuous process of installation and advancement of barbed wire fences and different artificial barriers along the occupation line in Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia and adjacent areas, including during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Resolution expresses serious concern that despite the Secretary-General’s appeal for an immediate global ceasefire, the situation of human rights has further deteriorated in both Georgian regions, particularly owing to growing violations and restrictions on humanitarian access,
The Resolution expresses serious concern also at the negative consequences of the prolonged closure of the so-called crossing points and the increasing restrictions on freedom of movement, particularly the denial of medical evacuations by the authorities exercising effective control in both regions, which has contributed to a number of deaths and the further isolation of the regions, thereby aggravating the humanitarian and socioeconomic situation on the ground which has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Resolution expresses serious concern further at the lack of accountability for unlawful killings of ethnic Georgians committed in the period from 2014 to 2019, which continues to contribute to impunity in both Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia.
The Resolution recognizes the importance of the Geneva International Discussions established on the basis of the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 as an instrument for addressing security, stability, human rights and humanitarian issues on the ground.
It needs to be highlighted that the Resolution takes note of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights, which holds Russia accountable for the violation of international law norms and fundamental human rights during the August 2008 war, as well as for the occupation of and effective control over the Georgian territories.
The Resolution expresses concern that internally displaced persons and refugees continue to be deprived of the right to return to their homes in a safe and dignified manner.
The document expresses serious concern at the repeated denial of access to international and regional monitors, including the United Nations human rights mechanisms, to both Georgian regions and calls on the authorities exercising effective control in those regions to grant them unimpeded access.
The Resolution requests the High Commissioner to present to the Human Rights Council an oral update and a written report on the follow-up to the present resolution.
MFA of Georgia