Georgia’s Foreign Minister talks European security at OSCE ministerial

The informal meeting of OSCE Foreign Ministers convened in Potsdam, Germany. Photo from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia., 02 Sep 2016 - 15:17, Tbilisi,Georgia

Conflict management and continental security were the focus of discussions between Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and his European counterparts at an informal ministerial of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Germany on Thursday.

The one-day meeting of European foreign ministers was called in the city of Potsdam by OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The ministerial was convened to discuss a range of topics but mainly the current security challenges in the OSCE region and deepening of cooperation between subject states.

Efforts to manage crisis and conflict situations within Europe and the OSCE's role in the fight against terrorism and arms control were specifically on the agenda.

Georgia's Foreign Ministry announced Janelidze's participation in the OSCE ministerial via a tweet on Thursday:

Janelidze addressed the European foreign ministers and spoke about the ongoing occupation of Georgia's two breakaway regions and the significance of the international community’s active participation in conflict management.

Janelidze also spoke about the "daily violation of fundamental human rights" in Georgia’s occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions.

In his address Georgia's top foreign official underlined the numerous cases of restriction of freedom of movement, denial of the right to receive an education in their native [Georgian] language and violation of the right to ownership as examples of the human rights issues in the occupied regions, said Georgia’s Foreign Ministry.

Furthermore, Janelidze clearly stressed the policy of the Georgian Government aimed at peaceful resolution of the territorial conflicts in the country "with the participation of the international community" including OSCE institutions.

Within the informal ministerial Janelidze met his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz. Afterwards Janelidze published some comments about the meeting on his official Twitter feed:

Kurz said his meeting with Janelidze was pleasant and he expressed interest in visiting Georgia in 2017. Next year Kurz will take up the position of Chairperson-in-Office of the OSCE.

Meanwhile the foreign ministers meeting in Potsdam also served as preparation for the OSCE Ministerial Council, set to convene in Hamburg, Germany later this year.