GENEVA, June 8 (Itar-Tass) — The 20th round of discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia will be held here on Friday. Taking part in the consultations, which are held under the auspices of the United Nations, European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), will be delegations of Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States and South Ossetia. The discussion will be traditionally held in the format of two working groups - on security and on humanitarian issues.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a press release issued on the eve of the meeting that “the exchange of views on the key issue of long-term stability in Transcaucasia - ensuring stable security of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be continued within the framework of the working group.” “In this context, the Russian side expects a response from the other participants in the Geneva discussions to its draft common Statement on the non-use of force that was put forward at the previous meeting in Geneva in March. The Russian proposal on joint international security guarantees that fix unilateral obligations of the Abkhazian, Georgian and South Ossetian sides of 2010 not to use of force, remains relevant,” the ministry noted.
“The humanitarian group’s agenda has practical issues of socio-economic rehabilitation of the region, provision of humanitarian and social assistance to the local population, including specific projects of water use and water supply with the assistance of international organisations,” the RF Foreign Ministry reported.
On Thursday, an information session on the legal aspects of the terms “occupation” and “occupied territory” in relation to the current situation in South Caucasus was held in Geneva on the initiative of South Ossetia. It was attended by experts in the field of international humanitarian law. “It will be certainly useful to discuss its findings and conclusions also during a regular meeting of the parties to the Geneva discussions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed.
The Russian delegation is headed by State Secretary, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin, the South Ossetian – the republic’s presidential envoy for the post-conflict settlement Boris Chochiyev, Abkhazain - Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Chirikba, Georgian - Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kapanadze.
The discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia are conducted for more than three years based on agreements between the presidents of Russia and France, reached after the tragic events of August 2008 in South Ossetia.