The “difficult” legal and humanitarian situation in the Russian-occupied regions of Georgia were discussed on Monday in a meeting between Tea Akhvlediani, the Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality and a delegation of the Council of Europe.
The Office said the meeting saw the domestic body provide “comprehensive information” to the delegation for the consolidated report by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, which will outline the present state of affairs in Georgia's occupied areas, as well as the process of implementation of the Government’s peaceful policy with regards to them.
It also covered discussions on “severe violations” of the fundamental rights of the local population, ethnic discrimination, restrictions on free movement, illegal construction of barbed wire and other artificial barriers along the occupation line, illegal detention of Georgian citizens, as well as the prohibition of education in native language.
The Minister extended her gratitude to delegation members for their “firm support” of Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognised borders of the Georgia and emphasised the “important” role of the Council of Europe in the process of peaceful resolution of the conflict - including reconciliation and engagement - by promoting restoration of trust between communities divided by the conflicts on the Georgian territory.
The meeting also noted the “greater significance” of the consolidated reports in the absence of human rights monitoring mechanisms in the territories.
The parties also discussed the progress achieved in the implementation of the reconciliation and engagement policy, future visions aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of the population affected by the conflict, and deepening of the dialogue based on common interests and restoring trust between them.
The Council of Europe delegation “positively evaluated” the efforts of the Georgian Government and promised “full support” to the Georgian side in the process.