What were main topics of 40th round of Geneva Talks?

  • A "border" sign post illegally placed by Russian occupational forces in the village of Ergneti. Photo by N. Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 22 Jun 2017 - 11:37, Tbilisi,Georgia

Dropping the charges by the de-facto authorities of Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region against the murderer of a Georgian citizen strengthens the impunity syndrome in occupied Abkhazia, and encourages violence on ethnic grounds, say Georgian authorities.

The freeing of the individual accused of murdering Georgian man Giga Otkhozoria last year near the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) separating Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia was one of the topics discussed at the 40th round of the Geneva International Discussions yesterday.

The Geneva International Discussions is the only international format of meetings addressing Georgia-Russia relations since the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. The meetings focus on security issues and the humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied regions of Georgia, Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia).

The talks traditionally include negotiators from Georgia and Russia as well as representatives from occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region (South Ossetia), and are co-chaired by officials from the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the European Union (EU).

The three issues that were on the top of the agenda were:

  • Non-use of power;
  • International security in both of the Russian-occupied regions of Georgia;
  • Return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their homes.

The Georgian side also raised the issue of continuous illegal detentions across the occupation line, and demanded the release of detainees. The restrictions that ordinary people are facing along the occupation line, on their own pieces of land, were also among the talking points.

Before the round of talks, an informal information session was held where an invited expert discussed the example of Cyprus to show how free movement and human contacts can be successfully maintained between societies divided by an administrative boundary line.

The next round of the Geneva International Discussions will take place in October.