Murat Dzhioev: 11 years in Geneva prove that the parties are determined to diplomatically resolve complex issues


Murat Dzhioev, Presidential Plenipotentiary for Post-Conflict Settlement, head of the South Ossetian delegation at the International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia spoke at a briefing in Tskhinval on the issues, discussed on October 8-9 during the 49th round in Geneva.

Dzhioev has reminded that the discussions are held in accordance with the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreement of August 12 and September 8, 2008. They are attended by delegations of the Republic of South Ossetia, the Republic of Abkhazia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, the United States, as well as representatives of the EU, UN and OSCE.

The 50th round of Geneva discussions will be held in December

“In December this year, the 50th round of the Geneva discussions will be held. Yes, it will be a jubilee, but so far, we have nothing to brag about, so there’s nothing to celebrate. Initially, when this format appeared, we could not even think that it would take so long. The fact is that there are diametrically different positions - ours, together with Abkhaz colleagues, on the one hand, and Georgia with its patrons, on the other. Therefore, we cannot achieve the solution of the initially set tasks - the main one being the development of a document on the non-use of force,” said Dzhioev.

He has added that, nevertheless, at the upcoming anniversary round, South Ossetia will once again advance the issues of ensuring the security of its people.

“The draft statement on the non-use of force, on which we have worked for a long time, has been reduced to two paragraphs, which states that the participants in the Geneva discussions, representing different parties, are committed to international law and the principle of the non-use of force. Therefore, we will insist that this round, even if verbally, be heard on the lips of all participants,” said Dzhioev.

The results of the 49th round and the situation in the village Tsnelis

Touching on the work of the last round in Geneva, Dzhioev noted that it took place in difficult times.

“The situation was complicated by the fact that at the end of August the Georgian authorities put up an illegal police post in South Ossetia, near the South Ossetian village of Tsnelis, under cover of night. Since then, we have been holding technical meetings within the framework of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism so that this illegally posted post will be removed,” the subitem emphasized.

According to him, the South Ossetian party presented in Geneva a package of documents confirming that the territory on which the checkpoint is put up. belongs to South Ossetia.

“Since South Ossetia is the successor of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Region, the only main document describing the borders of the republic is the document of the All-Georgian Central Executive Committee of April 20, 1922, together with maps, it confirms that the territory on which the Georgian side put up the checkpoint belongs to our republic. We also presented materials that indicate that the talc plant was created in South Ossetia, and in 1935, its workers allocated plots for the construction of houses and household plots on the right bank of the village of Tsnelis,” the diplomat noted.

According to him, in the village today there are 49 households that are formed in the Balta village administration.

“We also commented on the critical statements of Georgia and its patrons, including representatives of international organizations addressed to Russian border guards, who, in their opinion, are engaged in demarcation and delimitation of the borders of South Ossetia with Georgia. We emphasized once again that all the works are carried out by the forces of the South Ossetian border guards,” the envoy said.

Dzhioev has noted that South Ossetia urged to return to the discussion of the draft statement of the parties on the non-use of force from 2017, which was practically adopted, but the Georgian party, having not received the approval of the Georgian authorities, refused to subsequently sign this document.

“We noted that the work in this direction would give a positive impetus to the Geneva process, but unfortunately, we were not heard. However, no one denies that the discussions in Geneva need to be continued. The 11 years of the Geneva process show that the parties intend to resolve all disputed issues primarily through diplomatic means. The fact that we have been living in peace for so many years, and our republic is developing in calm conditions, I consider to a certain extent the result of the contractual process that is ongoing. The concrete result of the discussions, I would call the creation of a mechanism for preventing and responding to incidents,” the diplomat emphasized.

According to the Plenipotentiary, humanitarian issues were discussed in Geneva, including Georgia’s violation of the rights of Ossetians - natives of the Kazbegi region (Tyrsygom), the return to the Republic of historical and cultural values, and clarification of the fate of the missing.

"We again reminded of our icon - the Tskhinval triptych, which is in Georgia .We said that it should be returned to its rightful owner-the people of South Ossetia, whose spiritual heritage it is," Dzhioev said.

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