U.S. Participation in the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia

Geneva – July 3, 2019

At the forty-eighth round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the conflict in Georgia, July 2-3, the United States took positive note of the continued operation of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) meetings in Ergneti and welcomed the continued efforts by the GID Co-Chairs and participants to re-convene regular meetings of the IPRM in Gali as soon as possible.  The United States also expressed appreciation for the constructive statements of participants affirming the continuing value of the GID and the IPRMs in addressing the ongoing security and humanitarian consequences of the 2008 war.

The United States recognized the Co-Chairs’ continuing efforts to advance and deepen discussion of core GID issues.  Noting in particular the usefulness of recent Information Sessions on the role of women in peace processes and on international security arrangements, the U.S. delegation expressed support for proposals to conduct additional Information Sessions at future GID rounds.

The U.S. delegation endorsed continuing information sharing among the de facto authorities in Abkhazia and the Russian and Georgian governments regarding the death of Georgian citizen Irakli Kvaratskhelia, whose death in March in Russian custody underscored the human cost of the ongoing conflict.  The United States also reiterated calls for full and transparent investigations into the deaths of Georgian citizens Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria, and emphasized the need for the participants to investigate fully all cases of missing persons and to share the results of those investigations as soon as possible.

The United States appealed to the de facto authorities in Abkhazia to reopen immediately the Enguri Bridge and other crossing points along the administrative boundary line in light of the grave economic and humanitarian consequences imposed by such restrictions on freedom of movement.

The U.S. delegation expressed concern over the continuing failure to implement fully the terms of the 2008 ceasefire agreement, especially with regard to the withdrawal of Russian forces to pre-2008 positions and the establishment of international security arrangements.  The United States encouraged the GID participants to refrain from coercive measures and noted particular concern over Russian directives imposing direct and indirect restrictions on the transit of people and goods between Russia and Georgia.  The United States regrets that the participants from the Russian Federation and de facto authorities in Working Group II once again refused to engage in discussion of internally displaced persons and chose instead to walk out, thereby precluding discussion of the remainder of the agenda of Working Group II.

Together with Georgia, Russia, and representatives of the de facto Abkhaz and South Ossetian authorities, the United States participates in the Geneva International Discussions, which are co-chaired by the EU, UN, and OSCE.

The United States fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.