22 Nov 2018 17:01

Next round of Geneva talks on S. Caucasus discussed at Abkhaz Foreign Ministry

SUKHUM. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The co-chairs of the Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia discussed the agenda of the 46th round of talks set to take place on December 10-11 at a meeting at the Abkhaz Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Abkhaz Foreign Minister Daur Kove said the Geneva discussions deal with the principal issue, the signature of an agreement on the non-use of force between Abkhazia and Georgia and between South Ossetia and Georgia.

"In this context, we're really concerned about the steps that Georgia is taking in its desire to join NATO - in particular, the recent agreement reached between representatives of the defense agencies of Georgia and the United States on building a military airfield in Vaziani. We believe such actions by Georgia are not conducive in any way to improving stability and security in the region," Kove said.

EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus Toivo Klaar said there is a good opportunity to discuss such matters at the Geneva talks.

Klaar called for thinking about how the Geneva discussions could be reinvigorated and how the work of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism (IPRM) in the border territories could be resumed. There will be a serious discussion, he said.

Special Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office for the South Caucasus Rudolf Michalka said substantial work has been done over the past several weeks to discuss new ideas for making the Geneva process more progressive.

The second objective is the resumption of the work of the IPRM soon, as the OSCE sees it as the most important instrument in the Geneva process, Michalka said, adding that the OSCE is willing to listen to Abkhazia's arguments.

A number of humanitarian issues will also be addressed, he said.

UN Representative to the Geneva International Discussions Cihan Sultanoglu also reaffirmed the desire to make the process more dynamic and efficient.

The first round of talks was held in October 2008.