Response to the Co-Chairs of the Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Gary Robbins
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
November 1, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

The United States warmly welcomes the Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions, Ambassadors Murphy, Turunen and Lefort, to the Permanent Council.  The United States greatly appreciates their leadership in coordinating the Geneva Discussions and commends their tireless efforts to ensure productive talks.

The U.S. firmly believes that the Geneva Discussions are critical to enhancing security, stability, and respect for human rights in Georgia.  We believe the EU, the UN, and the OSCE together possess the expertise needed to tackle the challenges inherent in the process, and look forward to continued fruitful cooperation among the three organizations.

We note the progress that has been made in stabilizing the security situation in the region and agree that some of the credit for this must be given to the Ergneti/Dvani Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism, or IPRM.  We also welcome the participants’ commitment to address the many challenges that remain, including restarting the Gali IPRM, the non-use of force, and international security arrangements.  The Discussions taking place in the two parallel working groups, one dealing with security and stability and the other with humanitarian questions, including internally displaced persons and refugees, must continue apace.

In closing, the United States again thanks the Ambassadors here today, and commends their extraordinary work.  We remain committed to helping Georgia and Russia find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Georgia, and we look forward to the next round of the Geneva Discussions scheduled for December 12 of this year.  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. Chair.