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GENEVA, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - The 24th round of discussions on ways to ensure security and stability in the Transcaucasus is to 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 United Nations Organization, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The discusion will be held traditionally in the format of two working groups -- on security and on humanitarian subjects.
Delegations at the consultations are headed by the following persons: Grigory Karasin, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Murat Dzhioyev, South Ossetian plenipotentiary presidential representative for post-conflict settlement, and Irakly Khintba, Abkhazian Deputy Foreign Minister. The Georgian delegation is headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs David Zalkaliani.
The RF Foreign Ministry, in a press release issued on the eve of the regular round, informed the negotiating parties that prioritized at the meeting "will be matters of security in the zones along Georgia's border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia".
"The situation on the Georgia-South Ossetia border grew aggravated of late as the result of a propaganda campaign being conducted by the Georgian side," the RF Foreign Ministry pointed out. "In view of that, a discussion will be continued of ways to ensure durable security of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in accordance with the Medveev-Sarkozy plan dated August 12, 2008".
"Just as was the case in past years, the voting at the UN General Assembly on the Georgia-sponsored draft resolution on refugees will undoubtedly tell on the atmosphere of the meeting," a RF Foreign Ministry official said, expressing bewilderment in connection with the fact that once again representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were not invited to New York to explain their position. "This renders estimates of the sensitive problem partial and unjust and hinders a calm discussion of the issue in Geneva," the Ministry official emphasized.
Representatives of Abkhazia and South Ossetia stress that while in Geneva they intend to lay emphasis on the elaboration of a document on non-use of force by Georgia against the two young republics. Thus, President Leonid Tibilov of South Ossetia pointed out, "The South Ossetian side together with its colleagues from Abkhazia and the Russian Federation throughout all the rounds of the Geneva discussions have been upholding the interests of our two states, basing themselves on the norms of international law". Tibilov undelined that they "will continue to insist on signing a main document which would make it incumbent on Georgia not to use force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia".
The importance of working out such a document is emphasized in Moscow as well. However, despite all the diplomatic efforts, this task still remains unaccomplished so far. Tbilisi successively suggests concluding such an agreement with Russia, demanding a statement from Moscow about a one-sided renunciation of the use of force. Russian diplomats disagree to such a stand, pointing out that the RF "was not a party involved in the conflict".
Discussions on matters of security and stability in the Transcaucasus have been held for almost 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.