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Conflict in Georgia receives unprecedented support

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 21
Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reports that on April 19, the Committee of Ministers’ Deputies of the Council of Europe (CoE) discussed the 15th Consolidated Report on the Conflict in Georgia, prepared by the Secretary General of the CoE, Thorbjorn Jagland, which received an “unprecedented level of support”.

The document covers the period from October 2016 to March 2017, and by means of this report the Council of Europe continues to inform the international community of ongoing developments in Georgia's occupied regions, including the current difficult human rights situation there.

“The 15th Consolidated Report was unprecedented in terms of the support reiterated by various delegations for Georgia. Statements in support for Georgia were made by the EU and GUAM, and the delegations of 28 states individually condemned the illegal activities of Russia,” Georgia’s MFA reported.

Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Liechtenstein, Iceland, the Republic of Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and San Marino aligned themselves with the statement made on behalf of the EU.

The delegations reaffirmed their unequivocal support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized border and called upon Russia to comply with its international commitments, including those undertaken within the Council of Europe.

The CoE member states in their statements underlined the importance of access of the international monitoring organizations to the occupied territories of Georgia. They called on the Russian Federation to facilitate and grant unrestricted access to the Council of Europe bodies, as well as to the EUMM to the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia.

“The CoE Member States positively appraised the Georgian Government’s constructive approach to the peaceful resolution of the conflict emphasizing that there is no alternative to such approach,” Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Also, the Secretary General's Report was welcomed by the Council of Europe's member states, which supported the practice of submitting the Secretary General's consolidated reports in the future. Only the delegation of the Russian Federation called into question the effectiveness of the Secretary General's consolidated reports.

The First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Davit Zalkaliani, made a statement during the meeting. He spoke about the ongoing occupation of the Georgian regions and the Russian Federation’s steps towards total annexation of the Georgian territories. According to him, Russia continues its destructive policies in full disregard of the norms and principles of international law, to which attests the Russian Foreign Minister’s recent “visit” to Abkhazia.

Zalkaliani also provided the participants of the meeting with detailed information on the security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories, including the recent elections and referendum held in the Tskhinvali region, a new wave of passportization in Abkhazia, the closure of checkpoints, and the implementation of the so-called agreements signed by Russia with the occupation regimes.

Moreover, the Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister had a face to face meeting with the CoE Secretary General. The officials discussed current and future cooperation issues in various fields.

According to the MFA, Thorbjorn Jagland promised that the issue of the "Conflict in Georgia" will remain high on the Council of Europe's political agenda.