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Message from The MFA Abkhazia to the UN representatives on the upcoming discussion of the problem of refugees in Georgia

Address of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia to the representatives in the United Nations on the upcoming discussions of the refugee problem in Georgia‏

The General Assembly will once again be taking a decision on the basis of the documents, provided solely by the Georgian side, without considering the opinions and reasonable arguments of the Abkhaz side, thus making any decision coming from the planned discussion unproductive and non-objective.In the light of the United Nations General Assembly discussions planned for 7th of September on the issue of refugee in Georgia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhaz takes this opportunity to remind honorable UN representatives that the discussion of the issue which relates to Abkhazia and which is conducted without participation of the representatives of the Republic of Abkhazia would only demonstrate non-objectiveness and partiality.

It is also necessary to note that Georgia had always tried to avoid coordinated efforts with Abkhazia on the issue of refugees return. Georgian authorities deliberately demonstrate that the refugee problem for them has a political context without any consideration of people’s wellbeing. It is important to note that the refugee problem in Georgia is the outcome of the Georgian aggressive policy and numerous wars initiated by Georgia.

We insists that the return of the refugees even after a political settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict should be well-thought and be implemented gradually, taking into account improvements in social and economic sectors, as well as spiritual and emotional recovery in the mass consciousness of the Abkhazians and the Georgians. However, Georgia continues to pressure Abkhazia with economic sanctions and restrictions while the International Community’s support to Georgia in its claims to return all Georgian refugees to Abkhazia is obviously does not take into consideration social and economic development of Abkhazia.

Having different quantitative approach to the problem of refugees, Georgian side keeps ignoring the real facts and statistics. Georgia also does not mention that Abkhazia marks a unique case as a side to the conflict which returned more than 50.000 Georgian refugees out of 190.000 unilaterally. However for all years since the beginning of the process of refugees return Georgia continues to encourage the terrorist activity on the Abkhazian side of the border causing hundreds of victims of civilians and military.

Expressing its support to the norms of the International Humanitarian Law and the right to return we also urge the honorable representatives in the United Nations to consider the right for non-refoulment in case of Abkhazia. Since the overall return of Georgian refugees will ignite another conflict considering the fact that majority of the Georgian refugees actively participated in war against people of Abkhazia. Initiating war in South Ossetia in 2008 Georgia still refuses to sign non-use of force agreement which we consider a basis for the future discussions of the humanitarian issues of the conflict.

We consider it necessary to urge the General Assembly to take balanced and wise decisions in order to prevent future escalation of the conflict and more humanitarian concerns which are being addressed in the Discussions on Stability and Security in the Caucasus held in Geneva. Preventing Abkhaz side from participation in such important discussions, Georgia openly demonstrates its unwillingness to bring objective view to the problem and its intention to use refugee problem as an excuse for conflict resumption in the future.

Considering the aforementioned the Abkhaz side reiterate its commitment to find and fulfill wise and reasonable solution of the refugees and IDP’s problem and hope that the voice of Abkhazia will not be ignored in the future.

Sukhum, 6th of September 2010

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