GENEVA, November 6 (Itar-Tass) - The 25th round of discussions on ways to ensure safety and stabiity in the Transcaucasus will be held here on Wednesday.
Delegations of Abkhazia, Georgia, Russia, the United States, and South Ossetia will take part in the consultations which are held under the auspices of the UN, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The discussion will be traditionally held in the format of two working groups - those on on security issues and on humanitarian matters.
The Russian Federation's delegation is led by Grigory Karasin, State Secretary and Deputy Ministerof Foreign Affairs, that of South Ossetia by Murat Dzhioyev, plenipotentiary presidential representative on post-conflict settlement matters; the Abkhas one is led by Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Chirikba. The Georgian delegatio is led by Deputy Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani.
The present meeting is the first one since Georgia's presidential elections held at the end of October. In this connection, a Russian Foreign Ministry official pointed out, "The consultaitons will be of special importance for determining further prospects for the Geneva process". The point is that at the close of the previous round of consulations in June Karasin warned that the possibility of terminating meetings in such format were gradually developing from theoretical into a practical one. Such pessimistic forecasts by the Deputy Minister were prompted by the stand of the Georgian delegation that blocked the dialogue on the plea of procedural matters, pointing out the fact that full delegations of Abkhazia and South Ossetia gathered in the conference hall.
"A serious and businesslike discussion must be held on the need for restructuring the Geneva meetings and working out mutually acceptable parameters for them, including those for the concluding meeting of all participants," the RF Foreign Ministry analysts said. "This will help in the future to avoid waste of time at protracted talks on secondary matters which have no direct bearing on the themes for discussion at the consultations, the themes that were fixed in 2008 by the presidents of Russia and France," the analysts explained.
RF Foreign Ministry analysts mention it as agenda priority "The conclusion of appropriate bilateral agreements between the Republics of South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Georgia on non-use of force". "In view of this, the Russian delegation intends again to draw the participants' attention to the draft joint statement, presented by it in 2012, on non-use of force, the draft statement, the adoption of which would contribute to bringing the positions of Sukhum, Tbilisi, and Tskhinval closer together and to making headway instead of years-long marking of time," the Ministry official added.
"With a view to easing tension at South Ossetia's and Abkhazia's borders with Georgia, it will be essential to agree on systematic steps to inform the local population of border-crossing procedures, and of parameters of future work to to equip the borders. Joint mechnisms for preventing and reacting to incidents in border areas are figuring importantly in this context," the RF Foreign Ministry official said.
Discussions on matters concerning security and stability in the Transcaucasus have been held for more than five years on the strength of the accords reached by the presidents of Russia and France following the tragic events in South Ossetia in August 2008.