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Geneva Talks Remain Deadlocked

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 7
One of the initiators of the Geneva talks between Russia and Georgia was French President Nicholas Sarkozy under whose brokerage a peaceful agreement and ceasefire was achieved in August 2008. On the eve of Sarkozy’s visit to Georgia on Friday, the 17th round of the Geneva negotiations took place on October 4. It has become a tradition that such talks yield no result and the same happened this time as well.

Most Georgian analysts are evaluating this negotiation very pessimistically and probably they are right, in so far as not a single agreement was achieved apart from the date of the next round of the talks. There are mediators in these talks - the EU, US, UN and OSCE - who are still optimistic, hoping that at sometime there will be a breakthrough and something positive will be achieved.

Former Ambassador of France to Georgia, Philippe Lefort, who was appointed co-chairman of the Geneva negotiations, stated that the talks were held in a good working environment. The rest of the mediators also evaluate the 17th round of talks as very good and giving hope. Much time was dedicated to the discussion of the latest initiative by Moscow aired by foreign minister Lavrov at the UN General Assembly. Russia proposed itself as a guarantor between Georgia and breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to ensure the non use of force. Georgia categorically rejects this position as it quite rightfully considers Russia one of the conflicting sides.

The Georgian position is shared by the US delegation which welcomes Georgia’s commitment on the non-use of force in the conflict and asks Russia to make a similar statement, however Moscow stubbornly refuses to acknowledge itself as a side in the conflict.

There is another issue as well which quite distinctly shows the aggressive and unconstructive position of Moscow and its puppet regimes. This is the issue of IDP resettlement in their original places of dwelling. The puppet regime representatives categorically refuse to discuss this issue, thus ignoring different resolutions adopted by international bodies. Such resolutions were adopted by the UN General Assembly confirming the right of the IDPs to return back to their places of original residence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But the Russian-backed separatists ignore even any discussion of this issue.

Moscow and its puppets demand the recognition of the status of the breakaway regions. The Georgian side meanwhile thinks this approach is wrong, arguing that the major issue of discussion at the Geneva talks is the discussion of security and stability and return of the IDPs without touching on the issue of the status of the breakaway territories. For now, then, things remain at an impasse.