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De facto Abkhazian authorities guarantee security of students in Gali

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, September 15
Schoolchildren living in the Gali region inside the territory of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia will be able to move freely across the administrative border. Georgian Interior Ministry Analytical Department head, Shota Utiashvili, said that an agreement on this issue was reached on Tuesday at the Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanism meeting in Gali.

“The Abkhaz separatist regime promised that from September 15, the start of the academic year, schoolchildren from the occupied region of Gali will have no problem of movement,” Utiashvili said after the 20th round of talks in Gali, adding that the issue of the secure movement of students in the occupied territory was the main subject discussed at the meeting with the de facto officials.

At the meeting attended by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Anti Turunen, the parties discussed the situation in the region for the last two months. “The previous meeting in Gali in the framework of the Incidents Prevention and Response Mechanism was held two months ago on July 20, so we discussed the incidents that took place during the intervening period in terms of movement of the population, including the schoolchildren, across the administrative border,” Utiashvili noted “It was necessary to focus on the issue of the security of the students, because some of the schoolchildren go to the schools in Zugdidi from the occupied Abkhazia,” he added.

According to the head of the Georgian delegation, the sides discussed the criminal situation in the Gali region as well. “The situation is quite complicated in this respect,” the Interior Ministry Spokesman said “We discussed the security issues during the last two meetings and the discussion continued at this meeting as well,” he noted.