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Lavrov to meet, Abkhazia, S Ossetia ministers over Geneva discussions on Transcaucasia

March 18, 2016, 6:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW

During the talks it is planned to coordinate the positions in the run-up to the next round of the Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia

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© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold a meeting on Friday with Abkhazian Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba and South Ossetian president’s plenipotentiary envoy for post-conflict settlement Murat Dzhioev.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that during the talks "it is planned to coordinate the positions in the run-up to the next round of the Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia." "They will also discuss current regional cooperation issues", the diplomat added.

The next round of discussions on the settlement of the situation in Transcaucasia is scheduled for March 22-23.

Chirikba who held a meeting in early March with the co-chairs of the Geneva discussions, expressed the hope that this round "will be more successful and constructive."

"We hope that we can reach an agreement on the resumption of the five-sided Mechanism for Prevention and Reaction to Incidents (MPRI), which is an important factor in the exchange of security information between the parties", the Abkhazian foreign minister said. (MPRI is not functioning since April 2012).

The Co-Chair of the Geneva discussions from the EU, Herbert Salber, expressed a similar view. Hopefully, the new round will be productive and it will be possible to talk of progress after it, he said, calling MPRI an important mechanism for ensuring security in the cross-border areas.

The Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia are held under the auspices of the UN, EU and OSCE, with the participation of Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States and South Ossetia. They are the only platform for dialogue between Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia. They are held on the basis of agreements between the presidents of Russia and France, reached after the events of August 2008, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, prompting Russia to send troops to the region. Shortly thereafter, Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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