Condemnation of Illegitimate Referendum in Georgia

Condemnation of the Decision by the De Facto South Ossetian Authorities to Conduct an Illegitimate Referendum in Georgia’s South Ossetia Region

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Kate M. Byrnes
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 16, 2017

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States condemns the decision to conduct an illegitimate so-called “referendum” in Georgia’s South Ossetia region, planned for April 9. Such provocative actions erode trust and confidence and undermine the Geneva International Discussions. The United States will not recognize the results of an illegitimate referendum that is conducted in Georgian territory without the explicit consent of the Government of Georgia. Both the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions 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 committed to the achievement of a long-term political solution to the conflict in Georgia. The United States supports the Geneva International Discussions as the forum to address the situation in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We urge all participants to avoid actions, including the proposed referendum, which undermine these discussions.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.