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U.S. Participation in the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia
December 12, 2019

Press statement by the U.S. Delegation

During the December 10-11 fiftieth round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the conflict in Georgia, the U.S. delegation expressed frustration that participants have been unable to make progress on core issues and called on Russia to fulfill its obligations under the August 12, 2008 six-point ceasefire agreement, including in particular by withdrawing Russian forces to their pre-hostility positions. The United States commended Georgia for its continued compliance with the six-point agreement and for its restraint in the face of ongoing provocations.

The United States expressed disappointment about the further deterioration of the situation on the ground since the previous round of the GID on October 8-9, 2019. The U.S. delegation expressed particular concern at the ongoing detention of Dr. Vazha Gaprindashvili and echoed calls from across the international community for his immediate release.

The United States expressed its concern over additional restrictions placed on Administrative Boundary Line (ABL) crossings since the previous GID round and over deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Ossetia as a result of ongoing ABL crossing point closures. The United States called for the immediate end to borderization, arbitrary detentions, and restrictions on freedom of movement and urged the relevant authorities to allow unimpeded access for humanitarian organizations to the full territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The United States reiterated the importance of participation in regularly scheduled meetings of the Gali and Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms to maintain dialogue on a range of issues and to ensure the availability of communication channels for crisis resolution.

The U.S. delegation welcomed the exchange of information between the Georgian and Russian delegations on the death of Irakli Kvaratskhelia. The United States called again for a full and accurate accounting of the deaths of Archil Tatunashvili, Giga Otkhozoria and Davit Basharuli and expressed full support for continuing investigations with regard to missing persons.

The United States thanked the GID Co-Chairs for organizing an information session on non-use of force and corresponding implementation measures and looked forward to continuing discussion of these issues in the future.

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.

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