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Highlighting occupation issues

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, May 22
Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, who participated in the 127th Session of the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers in Nicosia, paid special attention to the frozen Russia-Georgia conflict, as well as to the difficult security, humanitarian and human rights situation in Georgia’s occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

The Minister also referred to the Decision of 3 May 2017 made by the Committee of Ministers' Deputies of the Council of Europe, which states that Georgia, as the only sovereign state under international law over its regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, is still prevented from exercising legitimate jurisdiction over these regions due to the “illegal actions of the Russian Federation”.

Janelidze highlighted the importance of the Secretary General’s consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia.

This report was included in the package of documents of the Ministerial Meeting and the participants had an opportunity to read the report dealing with the latest developments in Georgia’s occupied territories.

The Foreign Ministers of the Council of Europe Member States reconfirmed their support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally-recognised borders, and called upon Russia to comply with its commitments.

Discussions during the session focused on conflicts in Europe and the Council of Europe’s role in their resolution. The participants also spoke about such issues as the fight against terrorism, destruction of cultural properties and migration.

The Georgian Foreign Minister reaffirmed Georgia’s commitment to the Council of Europe’s main principles. According to him, ensuring the democratic development of Georgia is one of the government’s chief priorities.

“Ensuring media freedom, strengthening the judiciary, and protecting the rights of all our citizens are our main priorities, and we are glad to state that consistent and decisive steps have been undertaken in this regard. The European and Euro-Atlantic integration agenda has been a roadmap towards a higher standard of democracy, security, peace and prosperity in our country.

“Taking into account the dramatic transformation of Georgia we strongly believe that it is important to move Georgia from the monitoring to a post-monitoring state in the PACE. This would be a well-deserved progress to my country as well as encouragement for the consolidation of democratic reforms and further promotion of human rights,” Janelidze said.

During the ministerial meeting, the Czech Republic assumed the chairmanship of the CoE Committee of Ministers.

Meanwhile, the Georgian opposition accuses the government of poor performance of the international arena against the Russian occupation.

They also blame the authorities of an attempt to influence the courts and the media.