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Georgia’s Foreign Minister focuses on Russia’s occupying actions at OSCE Ministerial

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, December 10
Georgia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgi Kvirikashvili has taken part in the 22th Ministerial of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Belgrade, Serbia .

The Georgian high-ranking official made a speech at the Plenary Session of the Ministerial, where he discussed the current challenges in the frames of OSCE, highlighted Russia’s occupying actions in Georgia’s de-facto regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) and stressed the importance of the international monitoring missions in Georgia.

Speaking about Russia’s continued violations of international legislation and its creeping occupation on Georgian soil, Kvirikahsvili focused on Russia’s alleged goals.

“Russia tries to have the Georgian occupied regions under its military, social and economic influence,” Kvirikashvili said.

The Georgian official emphasised that Russia continually violates the rights of the Georgian living inside and nearby the breakaway regions.

“In eleven schools of the Gali region, which is mainly populated by ethnic Georgians but currently controlled by Russians, the Georgian language is replaced by Russian. Local children have no possibility to study their native language,” Kvirikashvilli said, adding that the presence of international monitoring missions in Georgia was essential as only the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) currently acts in Georgia.

On another note, the Minister touched on the successful reforms that have been carried out in Georgia recently, deserving international praise.

The Minister appealed to OSCE to send its observers to Georgia for the upcoming 2016 parliamentary elections.

Within his visit, Kvirikashvili also participated in a traditional meeting of the Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM Foreign Ministers Council, under the chairmanship of Ukraine, held as part of the OSCE Ministerial.

GUAM is a regional organization of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova, focused on promoting democratic values, ensuring stable development, enhancing international and regional security and stepping up European integration.

The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov, the Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Natalia Gherman, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and GUAM Secretary General Valeri Chechelashvili also took part in the gathering.

The Ministers focused on the main issues of the current political and inter-parliamentary co-operation within the Organisation; they discussed and gave a positive assessment to the "GUAM+" format co-operation with the main partner countries of the Organisation (the United States, Japan) and other international and regional organisations.

The GUAM Foreign Ministers Council thanked Chechelashvili for successful and productive activity at the post of the GUAM Secretary General and welcomed the appointment of Altai Efendiev to the post of GUAM Secretary General starting from 1 January 2016.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic, environmental, and human aspects. The organisation consists of 57 member states. The OSCE Mission to Georgia, established in 1992, assisted the Georgian Government with conflict settlement, democratization, human rights and the rule of law. No consensus was reached on the extension of the Mission's mandate at the end of 2008.