Group of Friends of Georgia Release Georgia-Supporting Statement

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) reports that the OSCE Group of Friends of Georgia has released a joint statement regarding the Georgia-Russia conflict, expressing full support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

The statement also urges the Russian Federation to reverse its recognition of the so-called independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia and withdraw its forces from the regions.

The statement was made on behalf of Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

“Ten years since the Russian military invasion of Georgia, we remain deeply concerned over the continued occupation of Georgian territories and underline the need for the peaceful resolution of the conflict, based on full respect for the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act, and the fundamental norms and principles of international law,” the statement reads.

The document reads that Georgia has made progress in strengthening democracy and good governance, as well as in the process of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and economic development.

“It is disappointing that these benefits cannot be enjoyed by the residents of Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. We believe a peaceful resolution of the Russia-Georgia conflict would have a transformative effect not only on Georgia but on the region as a whole,” the OSCE Group of Friends of Georgia stated.

They also condemned the conclusion of the so-called integration and alliance treaties by the Russian Federation with Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions, saying it constitutes a clear violation of the principles of international law by the Russian Federation and directly contradicts OSCE commitments.

“The friends will continue to raise awareness of the conflict and the need for its peaceful resolution,” the statement reads.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani assessed the statement as very important for the country.

"An important statement was adopted on the situation in Georgia and in particular in the occupied territories by the members of the Group of Friends of Georgia within the framework of the OSCE Ministerial… For the first time, the OSCE document touches upon the Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili list and underscores the unacceptance of this horrific murder. It is necessary that the OSCE Community and Member States take adequate measures against the people who committed the crimes,” the minister noted.

By Thea Morrison

Related stories:

De-facto Abkhazia Slams Georgia for Otkhozoria-Tatunashvili List

Breakaway Tskhinvali Prepares "Sanakoev List" in Response to Tbilisi


10 December 2018 03:15