GID Co-Chairs Visit Sokhumi, Tskhinvali

The Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions (GID), European Union Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar, UN Representative Ayşe Cihan Sultanoğlu, and OSCE Special Representative Viorel Moșanu have visited Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, as well as Tbilisi, the capital.

In Sokhumi, the Co-Chairs on May 31 met deputy chief diplomat Irakli Tuzhba and deputy head of security service Zaal Khvartskia, Abkhaz “foreign ministry” reported.

It said that the Abkhaz authorities expressed their readiness to continue the work of the GID, postponed in March amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A date for the 56th round of the GID has not yet been set, per the report.

The sides also talked about the issue of resuming the Gali Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings, suspended since June 2018 over the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list.

In the Tskhinvali region, the Co-Chairs met Konstantin Kochiev, advisor to S. Ossetian leader Alan Gagloev, on June 2.

Local RES news agency cited Kochiev as stressing the importance of the GID, arguing that “the very existence of this format allows maintaining stability in the region.”

“Appeals to Georgia by foreign actors to use the current moment to solve their strategic goals by force, as well as the development of Georgia’s military cooperation partners, which increases security risks in the [South] Caucasus region, do not go unnoticed by us,” Kochiev was also cited as telling the Co-Chairs.

The Geneva International Discussions involve participants from Georgia, Russia, and the U.S., as well as members of both of the exiled Georgian administrations of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region, and the two regions’ Russian-backed authorities, in their personal capacities.

The GID Co-Chairs said in a press release on May 30 that they had begun a round of consultations aiming to exchange views on recent developments related to security and humanitarian issues on the ground, and to focus on the timing and modalities of the next round.

EU Special Representative Toivo Klaar has told that the Co-Chairs had decided to postpone the 56th round — slated for March 29-30 — to “protect the process and to avoid a situation where the international environment, in particular the war in Ukraine, would negatively affect the proceedings of the round itself and thereby of the GID as a whole.”

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