Statement on the 23rd Geneva International Discussion on Georgia

As delivered by Deputy Chief of Mission Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
April 11 2013

The United States welcomed the 23rd round of the Geneva International Discussions, and was pleased to note the decrease in security-related incidents since the last round in December 2012.

We continue to believe that these talks are an important forum for pursuing our common goals of strengthening security and stability in Georgia, addressing humanitarian concerns, and improving human rights conditions for its citizens.  The constructive engagement of all participants is essential for more meaningful progress.

The United States fully supports the emphasis placed by the Chairperson’s Special Representative for Conflicts on building confidence and addressing humanitarian needs.  The Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) is a valuable instrument in this respect.  We hope that progress can be made in addressing freedom of movement during the next IPRM on 16 April and when Ambassador Deshchytsia visits the administrative boundary line in that context.  We also hope that the Gali IPRM can resume meeting as soon as possible.

We agree with Ambassador Deshchytsia that the OSCE’s water projects continue to help build trust between and within communities on both sides of the administrative boundary line, while addressing their humanitarian needs.

The United States remains committed to finding a long-term, peaceful resolution to the conflict in Georgia, and we look forward to the next round of the Geneva Discussions scheduled for 25 and 26 June 2013.  The regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are integral parts of Georgia, and we reiterate our strong support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

We remain convinced that the OSCE and other international actors can play a valuable role in resolving problems, providing humanitarian assistance, and monitoring human rights and humanitarian conditions.  In this regard, unhindered access to the whole of Georgia is essential.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.