South Ossetian participants in Geneva called on the parties to continue working on a document on the non-use of force


Report of the South Ossetian delegation to the media on the outcome of the 48th round of the Geneva Security Discussions in Transcaucasia

On July 2-3, 20197, a regular round of international discussions on security in Transcaucasia took place in Geneva. The delegations of the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the USA, as well as representatives of the EU, the UN and the OSCE took part in it. The South Ossetian delegation was headed by the Presidential Plenipotentiary for Post-Conflict Settlement, Murat Dzhioev.

Discussions were held in two working groups: on security and on humanitarian issues.

The atmosphere of the meeting was negatively reflected by the ongoing anti-Russian campaign in Georgia, accompanied by aggressive rhetoric against South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The attempt of the Georgian participants to transfer the anti-Russian hysteria from the streets of Tbilisi to the Geneva platform was not crowned with success.

The main focus of the first working group was on discussing current issues of regional security and ensuring a stable situation in the territories adjacent to the state border between South Ossetia and Georgia. The South Ossetian delegation focused the attention of the participants on the ongoing from the Georgian party periodic border provocations, facts of intentional violation of the state border regime and the need to continue marking the state border with engineering structures as a real factor in reducing the number of such violations. At the same time, the South Ossetian delegation reiterated the proposal to the Georgian side to begin joint bilateral work on the delimitation and demarcation of the state border between the Republic of South Ossetia and Georgia.

Special attention was paid to the continued deepening of military-political cooperation between Georgia and NATO and increasing the presence of a military alliance in the territory of the neighboring state, which is regarded as a serious challenge to regional stability and a threat to the security of South Ossetia.

The participants in the discussions stated that there was a deadlock that did not allow further discussion of the document on adherence to the principle of the non-use of force, but South Ossetian participants called for further work in this important direction for all parties to the negotiations.

The effectiveness and expediency of continuing the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism created in the format of the Geneva discussions in the South Ossetian-Georgian border (IPRM) and the existing “hot line” was again noted.

The South Ossetian delegation drew the attention of other participants to Georgia’s ongoing policy of deliberately misinforming the international community regarding the state of affairs in South Ossetia and provided factual material refuting the Georgian position.

Serious attention was also paid to the use by Georgian representatives of destructive rhetoric and terminology, in particular, the term “occupied territories”, unacceptable to South Ossetia and Abkhazia. In this regard, a statement of the South Ossetian delegation was circulated, based on factual material confirming the absolute illegitimacy of Georgian claims on the territory of the Republic of South Ossetia.

A thorough conversation on humanitarian issues has also taken place. Priority was given to the fate of the missing citizens of South Ossetia. South Ossetian participants noted that the assurances of the current Georgian authorities about a responsible attitude to the search for the missing did not affect the results of the work. The South Ossetian party called on the international mediators to assist in the continuation of the work of the expert Dusan Ignjatovich, conducting an investigation into the case of the enforced disappearance of the South Ossetian citizens.

During the work of the humanitarian group, the problem of historic East Ossetia was once again raised (Tyrsygom, Cobiy Basin, Gudskoe Gorge), the territory of which is under Georgian control. South Ossetian participants drew the most serious attention to the facts of unmotivated refusal by the Georgian authorities to admit Ossetians, natives of Kazbegi region, who could not gain access to their ancestral villages for several years. It was also pointed out the facts of illegal deprivation of property rights by Ossetians. The South Ossetian participants regarded these actions of the Georgian authorities as a gross and cynical violation of fundamental human rights.

In connection with the resolution on the problem of refugees, adopted on June 4, 2019, once again at the UN General Assembly, the discussion on the problem of refugees was not held during the round. The adoption of this resolution, a draft of which is submitted annually by Georgia for several years, was regarded by the delegations of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as a politicized step that impedes the resolution of the complex humanitarian problem of refugees in the framework of the Geneva discussions. Corresponding joint research has been distributed.

A corresponding joint statement by the delegations of South Ossetia and Abkhazia was circulated. It is assumed that the resumption of discussions on the subject of refugees will be possible after Georgia’s cessation of attempts to artificially politicize this problem.

The next round of discussions is scheduled for October 8-9, 2019.

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