Georgia is not ready for constructive work on a document on the non-use of force - Presidential Envoy of South Ossetia

Wed, 25/12/2013 - 10:18

South Ossetian Presidential Envoy for post-conflict settlement, the head of the South Ossetian delegation at the Geneva discussions on security in Transcaucasia Murat Dzhioev summarized for mass media representatives the results of the December 17-18 round of Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia. Reminding that the main purpose of the discussions is to develop the agreements on the non-use of force by Georgia against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the envoy has noted that the Georgian delegation once again tried to steer the conversation into the direction of Georgian-Russian relations which are not the subject of discussion in Geneva.

"An important intermediate step is a joint statement by all participants of the discussions on the commitment to the principle of non-use of force. In 2009 the heads of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia made similar unilateral declarations submitted to the United Nations, registered, but they cannot substitute for the legally binding documents, "- said the envoy.
The panelists could not agree on the text of the joint statement, which had been drafted by the Russian side.
"Georgia is not ready for constructive work on this document. In this regard, we proposed to make an oral statement that all participants of the discussions are committed to the principle of the non-use of force. The delegations of Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia made such a statement, the Georgian delegation said nothing, "- said Dzhioev, noting that representatives of Georgia promised to present their vision of this issue at the next round.
One of the main issues in Geneva, according to the envoy, is the issue of security in the region and the situation along the South Ossetian-Georgian border.
"We have once again stated that all works on arrangement of the state border are part of the sovereign right of South Ossetia and affect neither sovereignty nor Georgia. Co-Chairs of the Geneva Discussions have also been able to verify this. They saw that the Georgian side was pushing its citizens to illegal actions, "- said Dzhioev, adding that these actions are provocative and populist.
The Envoy denied allegations of the Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia that the refugee issue was one of the main on the agenda.
He has stressed that South Ossetia adheres to the international law in resolving the problems of refugees, but the Georgian authorities have done everything to politicize the issue which since 2009 is tabled at the General Assembly, where the adopted resolutions reflect only the Georgian position.
"In this case we do not consider it possible to discuss the issues of refugees at the Geneva discussions. We are not opposed to return to it, if Georgia refuses to politicize the issue and not submit it to the UN General Assembly. Every year we appeal to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, as well as the United Nations to allow the representatives of South Ossetia to participate in the discussion, but every time we experience failure, "- told Dzhioev.
South Ossetian delegation also raised the issues related to freedom of crossing and entry of citizens of South Ossetia in a number of countries.
"Recently we have seen numerous cases when our citizens and even South Ossetians by birth were rejected to get Schengen visa. We regarded it as a violation of human rights, "- said the envoy.
According to him, despite the change of power in Georgia, the position of the state in relation to South Ossetia has not changed, noting that after the change of power in Georgia in the Georgian delegation have also been significant changes, but it is still composed of representatives of the so-called "alternative government of South Ossetia" and "Abkhazian government in exile." At the same time, the envoy has added, that they do not participate in the discussions. Dzhioev has also emphasized that the Georgian delegation at previous rounds was actively using the term "occupation", "occupation forces", "the occupied territory."
"At the 20th round we raised this question. Moderators invited international experts in this field, the information session and the subsequent discussion showed that the Russian-South Ossetian relations and the presence of Russian troops and border guards in South Ossetia had no relation to the term "occupation," as well as to the situation in South Ossetia as a whole, " - said the envoy.
Georgian delegation could say nothing against it.
"We expect that in the future these terms will no longer be used. But at the last round, the head of the Georgian delegation in his very short speech five times mentioned these terms. Once we said that hoped for progress on this issue, not to return to the already discussed issues, members of the Georgian delegation said that it was their position and they would not change it. That is, though in Georgia took place the change of leadership and other forces came to power, not personally responsible for the atrocities committed by Saakashvili and his clique, the position in relation to South Ossetia in the country has not changed, "- said the envoy.
Summing up the 26 round and overall activity in the framework of the Geneva discussions, Dzhioev has noted that the main positive factor is the ability of South Ossetia at the international level to express its position on the normalization of relations with Georgia, and discuss security issues in the region.

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