On the 46th Round of the Geneva International Discussions
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 20, 2018
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The United States welcomes the resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), co-chaired by the OSCE and the EU in Ergneti on December 18.
At the 46th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the conflict in Georgia, December 11-12, the United States noted the constructive statements of participants affirming the value of the GID and the IPRM in addressing the ongoing security and humanitarian consequences of the 2008 war.
The United States acknowledged with gratitude the GID Co-Chairs’ progress toward advancing and deepening the discussions, including through organizing an Information Session on “Women, Peace, and Security.”
The United States again called for greater cooperation from the de facto Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities in conducting full and transparent investigations into the deaths of Georgian citizens Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria.
The U.S. delegation reiterated its concern over the failure to implement fully the terms of the 2008 ceasefire agreement, especially with regard to the withdrawal of Russian forces to pre-2008 positions and the establishment of international security mechanisms.
The United States welcomes the Co-Chairs’ efforts to generate a consensus on humanitarian issues in Working Group II, and it regrets that de facto authorities refused to engage in a discussion on these principles, instead walking out of the discussions. Such walkouts deprive participants of the chance to discuss critical humanitarian issues that affect thousands of civilians.
Mr. Chair, the United States associated itself with the joint statement by the Group of Friends of Georgia at the Ministerial Council in Milan, in which we agreed to redouble our efforts to keep the issues related to the Russia-Georgia conflict high on the international agenda, raise awareness of developments in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, and emphasize the urgent need for peaceful resolution of the conflict. In this respect, the United States reiterates its calls for greater access to the occupied territories for diplomatic officials and human rights organizations. The OSCE should also have access to these territories. An OSCE field presence in the country would facilitate this access. In this manner, as well as through its independent institutions and structures, the OSCE could contribute to Georgia’s peacebuilding efforts.
Mr. Chair, the United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.