U.S. Statement on the 25th Round of Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia

U.S. Statement on the 25th Round of Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia

Geneva, November 6, 2013

The United States joined the twenty-fifth round of Geneva International Discussions on the conflict in Georgia on November 5-6.  These discussions continue to serve as a valuable forum as we work to decrease tensions in the region, improve security on the ground, and address the humanitarian needs of those affected by this conflict.  We appreciate the continued leadership of the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as co-chairs of these discussions.

The United States reiterated that the construction of physical barriers along the Administrative Boundary Lines for the occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia undermine our joint efforts to reach a negotiated solution to this conflict, and have a negative impact on those living in areas affected by the conflict.  These barriers are inconsistent with Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and contrary to Russia’s international commitments; their removal would be an important step towards building peace and security, and restoring freedom of movement within the internationally-recognized territory of Georgia.  We commend the government of Georgia for meeting these provocative activities with patience, which underscores yet again its commitment to a peaceful settlement and the non-use of force in resolving this conflict.

We join the co-chairs in calling for a timely resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism in Gali as a means of improving communication and mitigating tensions on the ABL for the Abkhazia region, and we again note that the surest way to increase trust between the parties and improve the lives of people on the ground would be to grant access across the boundary line for all people, humanitarian organizations, and the EU Monitoring Mission.  The United States will continue to engage on these issues in support of the participants and the co-chairs in the coming months.