Abkhazia: Geneva Meetings to Discuss Security and Stability in Transcaucasia
On 4 March 2016, the Abkhazian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia from the EU, UN and OSCE met to discuss the various challenges faced in the region. Agenda included security, return of cultural heritage, environmental and humanitarian issues and the possibility of stipulating an agreement with Georgia on the non-use of force. The next round will take place on 22 - 23 March 2016 and will focus on resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM), an important aspect of border security.
Below is an article published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia:
On March 4 was held a meeting of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Viacheslav Chirikba with Co-Chairs of the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia from the UN, EU and OSCE. The meeting covered a wide range of issues related to the agenda and the thematic content of the forthcoming round of the Geneva discussions.
Opening the meeting, the Minister said: "Our challenge is of great importance - to ensure peace in the region. An important step would be the signing of an agreement with Georgia on the non-use of force, but it is a difficult task, we have been doing that for a number of years. However, the task is feasible if there is good will and high sense of responsibility."
One of the key topics discussed at the meeting was the issue of resumption of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM). Co-Chair from the European Union Herbert Zalber said: "The question that must be addressed at the next round of the Geneva discussions is the issue of restoration of the IPRM in Gal. IPRM is important for security in the border areas."
During the meeting was discussed the situation in the Geneva discussions. Questions were raised concerning not only the security and humanitarian issues, but also issues such as the environment and the return of cultural heritage.
At the meeting were also discussed the results of the 34th round of Geneva Discussions, held on 8-9 December 2015. Viacheslav Chirikba expressed regret in connection with non-constructive position of the Georgian delegation.
The next round of the XXXV International Geneva discussions is scheduled for March 22-23.