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The Council of Europe supports Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty

By Messenger Staff
Friday, November 18
The European Union's (EU) member states reiterated their support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia at the 1271st meeting of the Committee of Ministers Deputies of the Council of Europe on November 16.

The Deputy Ministers discussed the 14th Consolidated Report on the Conflict in Georgia, which was prepared by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland. The report covers the period of April - September 2016.

At the meeting, it was noted that the Council of Europe continues to monitor the commitments undertaken by the Russian Federation and Georgia following the 2008 war, and that it keeps the international community informed of ongoing developments in Georgia's occupied regions.

Among other issues, Thorbjorn Jagland paid particular attention to the current difficult human rights situation in Georgia's occupied territories. The Georgian delegation, as well as the delegations of the EU and the Council of Europe member states expressed their concern about this issue.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Zalkaliani, made a statement during the meeting concerning the current situation in Georgia's occupied territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, resulting from the illegal activities undertaken by the occupation forces along the occupation line and the so called “borderisation” process.

Moreover, the Georgian delegation underlined the importance of access of the international monitoring bodies to the occupied territories of Georgia. Zalkaliani called on the Russian Federation to facilitate and grant unrestricted access to the Council of Europe bodies to the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia as provided by the EU Council Committee of Ministers decisions adopted in 2015 and 2016.

The Secretary General's 14th Consolidated Report was welcomed by the Council of Europe's member states; only the delegation of the Russian Federation called into question the effectiveness of the Secretary General's consolidated reports.

“A statement on behalf of the EU was also made during the meeting, in which the EU member states reiterated their unequivocal support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. The EU called on the Russian Federation to fulfill its international commitments and obligations, including the six-point ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008,” the statement of Georgia’s Foreign Ministry reads.

Also, a statement on behalf of the GUAM (Organization for Democracy and Economic Development of four post-Soviet states: Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) member states has also been made, in which they expressed their support both for the practice of the Council of Europe Secretary General presenting future reports on the conflict in Georgia as well as for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the publication of the Council of Europe Secretary General's 14th consolidated report as well as the statements made by the EU, GUAM and other partners concerning the report. The Ministry hopes that the issue of the Conflict in Georgia will remain high on the Council of Europe's political agenda.