U.S. Participation in the Geneva International Discussions on the Conflict in Georgia April 4-5, 2023
The United States notes the conclusion of the 57th round of the Geneva International Discussions (GID) on the Conflict in Georgia, which took place in Geneva on April 4-5th.
The United States delegation led by Senior Advisor for Caucasus Negotiations Louis Bono welcomed dialogue with participants to seek a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Georgia. The United States called upon the Russian Federation, as a party to the conflict, to fulfill immediately its clear obligation under the EU-mediated August 12, 2008, ceasefire agreement to withdraw its forces to pre-conflict positions, as well as to uphold its commitments to allow unfettered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and not to impede creation of international security arrangements on the ground. The occupation of 20 percent of Georgia’s territory by Russia’s forces undermines Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as does Russia’s ongoing borderization. The United States applauds Georgia’s commitment not to use force to resolve the conflict and condemns disinformation suggesting that Georgia or the United States seek any military resolution to the conflict. The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified aggression against Ukraine, and notes that false “second front” narratives are all the more pernicious because it is Russia that remains in breach of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity since August 2008. Russia is the only party to the Conflict in Georgia that currently stations its forces on the territory of another sovereign state in flagrant violation of its obligation under the ceasefire.
We are pleased with the functioning of the Ergneti Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), which defuses tensions at the local level and delivers concrete results to people living within this conflict-affected area, and we call for the reopening of the Gali IPRM. We note the partial reopening of two crossing points on the administrative boundary line with the South Ossetia region of Georgia and call for their full reopening, which would have a positive impact for communities in conflict-affected areas.
The United States regrets that the issues of Internally Displaced Persons, refugees, water, and gas could not be fully discussed in one of the working groups due to a walkout by some of the participants.