OSCE SecGen Meets Georgian Leaders
On the second day of her June 14-16 visit to Georgia, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Maria Schmid today met with President Salome Zurabishvili, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava, and Foreign Minister, Deputy PM David Zalkaliani. Secretary General Schmid today also attended the 100th Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) meeting in Ergneti.
During their meeting at the Presidential Palace, President Zurabishvili and Secretary General Schmid agreed to host a women leaders conference in Georgia on the role of women in peace and security.
The sides also reviewed the upcoming local elections in Georgia, the humanitarian situation in occupied Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and strengthening the impact of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), among others, the President’s press office reported.
The OSCE Secretary General and PM Garibashvili underscored the importance of OSCE involvement in rebuilding trust and the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in Georgia’s occupied territories, the Georgian Government’s press office reported.
The Georgian PM also stressed that the “immediate release of Zaza Gakheladze and all other illegally detained Georgian citizens” should be raised on all levels, including at the IPRMs.
Noting that the country appreciates the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) election monitoring efforts, PM Garibashvili highlighted that Georgia is ready “to receive the maximum number of ODIHR observers” in the nearing local elections.
According to the same report, Secretary General Schmid commended Georgia’s recent mediation between Baku and Yerevan, resulting in the release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war.
Georgian Parliament Speaker Kakha Kuchava discussed with the OSCE Secretary General Russia’s actions and the “dire humanitarian situation” in Georgia’s occupied regions, the Parliament’s press service reported. The sides also reviewed the situation in the region, stressing Georgia’s role in ensuring regional peace and stability.
During the meeting with the OSCE Secretary General, Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani expressed concern over the intensification of Russia’s aggressive politics in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
FM Zalkaliani also briefed Secretary General Schmid on Moscow’s steps towards the illegal annexation of Georgian regions, including “borderization” processes, the common socio-economic space program with Sokhumi, free movement-related restrictions, and gross human rights violations, among others.
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