Statement on the Geneva International Discussions on Georgia

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 20, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States was pleased to participate in the December 12 round of the Geneva International Discussions.

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.  It is essential that we find solutions to these pressing problems for those whose day-to-day lives remain affected by this conflict.  The constructive engagement of all participants is a prerequisite for meaningful progress.  The OSCE’s water projects, for example, have made a significant difference in the lives of people living in the area, and we trust that they have also helped build confidence on both sides of the administrative boundary lines.

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.

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 March 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.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.