On the results of the seventh round of Geneva Discussions

Wed, 23/09/2009 - 18:34

On 17-18 September, the seventh round of Geneva Discussions on security in the Caucasus took place. Special Representative for Post-Conflict Settlement Boris Chochiev told journalists about this round of talks and its results. According to him, “at the last two rounds of talks, our delegation’s priority issue was the non-use or threat of use of force”.
“It was hard to convince that it was necessary. All delegations had elaborated their drafts on this issue. A day before the meeting, the Co-Mediators had circulated these proposals and upon our arrival in Geneva we had already discussed them. We had firmly criticized them, since these drafts contained everything except security. During the discussion, the head of the Georgian delegation Giga Bokeria stated that Georgia was not going to sign any agreements with South Ossetia and Abkhazia”, said Chochiev.

Boris Chochiev said this round of talks was a milestone, “since the time has come when international organizations cannot conceal their negative attitudes towards the position of the Georgian authorities”. “The draft agreement on non-use of force was prepared by the Co-Chairs and all of a sudden, the head of the Georgian delegation stated that there would be no agreement signed. We had to take a break, after which Bokeria stated that he was misinterpreted and that the discussion should continue. This is a puppet regime in the hands of Western states”, said Chochiev.
According to him, it was decided that the Co-Chairs would hold consultations with all the parties before the next round of talks, and each side would reconsider its draft agreement on non-use of force. Boris Chochiev stated that the Georgian authorities continued to refuse the fact of presence of our citizens in the prisons of Georgia.”
”We have provided the participants with sound proofs. We have demanded from the EUMM to closely follow the solution of these issues. We have named concrete places where, as we got to know, our citizens were kept in detention. We also managed to find out who had abducted them. Let the EUMM now deal with the problems”, said Chochiev.
“We have also discussed the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism. There were certain conditions and organizational issues which were unfavorable for us. We stated that if we do not reach any agreement, our delegation would not attend the next IPRM meeting. It was eventually decided to establish a secretariat from among the participants to the meetings, who would jointly prepare agendas and each of the parties while presenting an issue for the agenda, will chair the meeting during the discussion of the issue the party has raised. Meetings will be concluded with a protocol to be signed by all participants”, explained Chochiev.
This round of Discussions has also focused on refugee problem. As informed by Chochiev, the sides tried to discuss the issue at the background of the recent Resolution of the UN General Assembly on displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The South Ossetian delegation did not agree with the conclusions on this issue, and the sides decided to elaborate new proposals before 8 October. The Working Group II (dealing with humanitarian problems) paid much attention to water and gas supply.
”Leningor district of South Ossetia has not been receiving Russian gas from Georgia since August 2008. Georgia did not resume gas supply to this district so that the inhabitants of the district would face difficulties. The Georgian authorities did everything to prevent people from returning to their homes – they were building up houses, paid money, did not allow to return. The people are wiser, and many Georgians and Ossetians stayed there. Georgia continues to follow its old habits and organizes blockades so that the population is deprived of gas for more than a year”, said Chochiev, ”while Georgia and OSCE insisted that we would supply potable and irrigation water free of charge”.

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