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PACE Monitoring Committee members visit Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Tuesday, April 13
Matyas Eorsi from the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is paying a 5-day visit to Georgia, accompanied by fellow PACE Monitoring Committee member David Wilshire. The resolutions adopted by the EU on the Georgian-Russian conflict will be one of the main subjects discussed during meetings they will hold, according to Georgian officials.

The PACE representatives met Deputy Reintegration Minister Davit Rakviashvili on Monday. Eorsi said after the meeting that he is “thoroughly” learning the situation in Georgia’s breakaway regions. He noted that he will include information he has received in his report on the visit.

Eorsi commented on Georgia’s and Russia’s progress in fulfilling the various PACE resolutions, hailing Georgia for doing so. “Georgia is fulfilling almost all its commitments, while the Russian side still has not met its liabilities. I can say that Georgia has fulfilled almost all the commitments outlined in previous resolutions,” he stated.

The members of the PACE Monitoring Committee are planning to visit Tskhinvali, Gali and Sokhumi and meet the IDPs in the Tserovani settlement. Next week Eorsi will visit Moscow. “I will visit Russia next week and ask Russian officials why the EU recommendations are not being followed,” the PACE representative told journalists after the meeting with the Deputy Reintegration Minister.

Later the two PACE members met NGO representatives. The sides talked about the situation in Georgia’s occupied territories and the Council of Europe resolutions. Eorsi refrained from making comments for the media afterwards, saying that he will learn what is happening in Georgia in detail and make comments later.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has described the visit of the PACE Monitoring Committee members as “important”. Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said at the traditional Monday briefing, “The aim of the visit is to discover what progress Russia has made in fulfilling its commitments under the Council of Europe resolutions. In particular, the resolutions referred to the de-occupation of Georgia’s territories and the return of IDPs to their homes. The resolutions also criticised Russia’s recognition of integral parts of Georgia as independent states,” Kalandadze stated.

Matyas Eorsi also paid a working visit to Georgia last March alongside fellow PACE Monitoring Committee member Kastriot Islami. The two held meetings with the Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition, NGO’s and the media and discussed constitutional reform, the upcoming local elections and the media environment in the country. Eorsi and Wilshire will leave Georgia on April 16.