The report of the South Ossetian delegation to the media on the outcome of the 41st round of the Geneva discussions on security in Transcaucasia

Thu, 12/10/2017 - 16:15

October 10-11, 2017 in Geneva was held the next round of international discussions on security in Transcaucasia. It was attended by the delegations of the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the United States, as well as the EU, the UN and the OSCE representatives. The South Ossetian delegation was headed by the Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy for Post-Conflict Settlement Murat Dzhioev.
Discussions were held in two working groups: on security and humanitarian issues.
The attention of the first working group was focused on the elaborating of a joint document aimed at preventing Georgia from using force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as ensuring regional security and stability. The South Ossetian representatives proposed to agree and adopt at this round a joint statement of the participants in the discussions on adherence to the principle of non-use of force as an interim document, the work on the text of which had been carried out for several rounds. Such a document would make it possible to fix the positions of all the participants in the discussions and begin to fulfill the main task of the Geneva discussions - the elaboration of legally binding bilateral interstate agreements on the non-use of force in the context of the common security system in Transcaucasia, with firm international guarantees for their implementation.
It was suggested to harmonize the text of the statement in order to complete it by the next round of discussions.
The South Ossetian delegation expressed concern over the expansion of NATO's presence in the territory of Georgia, in particular, about the conducting of military exercises of Georgia-NATO, aimed at working out joint offensive operations involving heavy military equipment from the United States and other NATO countries.
Discussing the issues of stability and security in the area of the South Ossetian-Georgian state border, the meeting participants noted the lack of recen serious incidents. At the same time it was noted the provocative activity of the Georgian side in the border areas - rallies, "horse patrols", deliberate violation of the state border regime, including representatives of law enforcement bodies of Georgia, as well as deliberate distortion of the real state of affairs in the media.
In this regard, the South Ossetian participants again reminded the Georgian side of the need to start joint bilateral work on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia.
The participants of the discussions noted the effectiveness and expediency of the continuation of the mechanism of prevention and response to incidents in the area of the South Ossetian-Georgian border (IPRM), acting within the framework of the Geneva discussions, as an important factor in ensuring stability and security in the Georgian-South Ossetian border area. The efficiency of the IPRM hotline was also underlined.
A thorough conversation took place on humanitarian issues. Priority attention was paid to the fate of the missing citizens of South Ossetia. During the discussion, the international mediators have assured that the investigation of cases of the missing citizens of South Ossetia will be continued by a specially invited independent international expert.
In the course of the work of both groups it was raised the problem of the historical Eastern Ossetia (Tyrsygom, the Kobi Basin, the Gudsky Gorge), the territory of which is under Georgian control, South Ossetian participants in both working groups attracted the most serious attention to the facts of the unmotivated refusal of the Georgian authorities to admit Ossetians to the territory of Georgia - the natives of the Kazbegi district, who for several years cannot access their ancestral villages. It was also pointed out the facts of illegal deprivation of Ossetians' rights to housing and land. These actions of the Georgian authorities were regarded by the South Ossetian participants as a gross and cynical violation of fundamental human rights.
Discussing the issues of cultural heritage, the South Ossetian side again focused on the problem of the threat to the preservation of Ossetian historical and cultural monuments in the territories of Eastern Ossetia under Georgia's control, where the expelled Ossetian population is not allowed. Ossetian representatives again called for experts to examine and assess the state of the monuments of the Ossetian historical and architectural heritage of Eastern Ossetia in the Tyrsygom valley, the Kobi basin and the Gudsky gorge.
Discussion on the refugee issue was not conducted at this round. It is expected that the resumption of discussions on the issue of refugees will be possible after Georgia stops attempting to artificial politicization of the problem.

The next round of discussions is scheduled for December 2017.

Geneva, October 12, 2017

Женева, 12 октября 2017 года
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