Russia’s attempts to remove the state border between itself and Georgia’s breakaway Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) region was one of the issues Georgia highlighted at a special meeting with co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions today in Tbilisi.
The Geneva Talks, co-chaired by representatives from the EU, UN and OSCE, were established to address the consequences of the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict.
At today’s working meeting, held at the Foreign Ministry, the Georgian side was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and head of the Georgian delegation to the Geneva International Discussions, David Dondua.
The sides discussed issues relating to the working agenda of the upcoming 31st round of talks, scheduled for March 17-18. In particular, the Georgian side expressed concern about the so-called "state border treaty” signed between the Russian Federation and breakaway Tskhinvali.
The Georgian side said by signing this document, the Russian Federation "vainly attempted to conceal the de facto annexation of Georgian territories stemming from the upcoming so-called treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’”.
In this context, Dondua once again underlined the importance of the unilateral, legally binding non-use of force pledge by Russia and the need for the establishment of international security mechanisms inside Georgia’s two occupied regions.
Meanwhile humanitarian issues and other points in the agenda of the upcoming Geneva International Discussions were discussed at today’s meeting. In particular, the necessity to respect the fundamental rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees was emphasized.
In addition, the co-chairs of the Geneva International Talks briefed the Georgian side on the results of the work carried out by health experts in breakaway Abkhazia region.
Dondua and the Georgian delegation once again stressed the importance of the Geneva International Discussions and reiterated Georgia’s readiness to continue participating in the talks and its current format.