Geneva Talks Co-Chairs Visit Tbilisi

Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), Toivo Klaar, Cihan Sultanoğlu and Rudolf Michalka from the EU, the UN and OSCE, respectively, held a meeting with Georgian representatives led by Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia, in preparation for the postponed 51st GID round.

According to the Foreign Ministry, at the November 23 meeting, Georgian officials highlighted “more frequent provocations” by Russia, noting that “borderization” activities and illegal detentions amid the pandemic further deteriorate security and humanitarian situation in the occupied regions.

Deputy Foreign Minister Lasha Darsalia expressed concern over the recent arbitrary arrest of a Georgian citizen, Mirian Taziashvili, on the occupied territory near Zardiantkari village of Gori municipality, as well as the illegal detentions of  Zaza Gakheladze, Genadi Bestaev and Irakli Bebua

As for humanitarian issues, Georgian officials highlighted the death of Onise Gatenashvili, due to delayed transfer to Georgia proper, as another confirmation of “dire humanitarian situation” in the occupied Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region, caused by the closure of crossing points and the restricted access to Georgian medical services. 

The Deputy Minister also underscored that Russia continues violating the ceasefire agreement of 12 August 2008 with the illegal militarization, drills and steps towards the “annexation” of the occupied regions of Georgia.

Georgian Officials stressed that the death of Inal Jabiev in Tskhinvali custody “clearly shows the grave condition of human rights,” and also called attention to the need to deliver justice for the deaths of Davit Basharuli, Giga Otkhozoria and Archil Tatunashvili.

According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the Co-Chairs, on their part, expressed concern over the complicated condition in the region and stressed the necessity of resolving the situation.

Toivo Klaar, the European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia, said the preparatory meetings will continue in Sokhumi and Tskhinvali this week.

The 51st GID round, initially scheduled for March 31 – April 1, 2020, was postponed by the decision of the Co-Chairs due to “circumstances related to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.” The alternative date, October 6-7 was deferred until December, for the second time, “since not all participants were able to attend,” while Tbilisi accused Moscow of deliberately disrupting the negotiations.

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