U.S. Statement on the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia
As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Harry Kamian
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
December 19, 2019
Thank you, Madam Chair.
During the December 10-11 50th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the conflict in Georgia, the United States commended Georgia for its continued implementation of the six-point 2008 ceasefire agreement, and for its continued restraint in the face of ongoing provocations and further deterioration of the situation on the ground. Regrettably, Russia has yet to fulfill its obligations under the ceasefire agreement, in particular, by withdrawing its forces to their pre-hostility positions. The United States is disappointed that the participants from the Russian Federation and de facto authorities in Working Group II once again refused to engage in discussion of internally displaced persons and chose instead to walk out.
The United States remains especially concerned at the ongoing detention of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili, and echo calls from across the international community for his immediate release.
Restrictions placed on administrative boundary line crossings continue to worsen the humanitarian conditions in the Georgian region of South Ossetia. The United States calls for the immediate end to borderization, arbitrary detentions, and undue restrictions on movement, and urges the relevant authorities to allow unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations to the Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The Gali and Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms are crucial for maintaining dialogue on a range of issues and to ensuring the availability of communication channels for crisis resolution. We call on participants to ensure the IPRM’s regular functioning – without preconditions.
The United States calls again for a full and accurate accounting of the deaths of Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria, and Davit Basharuli, and expresses our full support for continuing investigations with regard to missing persons. The United States welcomes the exchange of information between the Georgian and Russian delegations on the death of Irakli Kvaratskhelia during the Geneva talks.
Madam Chairperson, the United States regrets that we were unable to reach agreement on an OSCE regional statement on Georgia at the Ministerial Council. We call attention to the statement delivered at the OSCE Ministerial meeting by Norway, on behalf of the Friends of Georgia, which reaffirmed our full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and addressed our concerns about Russian actions in detail.
The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.