SUKHUM -- The co-chairmen of the Geneva talks, Philippe Lefort (EU), Antti Turunen (UN) and Padraig Murphy (OSCE), discussed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the work of elements of the Geneva discussions.
The meeting took place without the participation of journalists. After it ended, the co-chairmen of the Geneva discussions and Abkhaz Foreign Minister Viacheslav Chirikba answered a series of questions from journalists.
Co-Chair Philippe Lefort (EU) called the meeting constructive.
"As usual, we had a serious discussion regarding elements of the Geneva talks. Along with the positive development, there are, unfortunately, disturbing issues regarding stability and security,” he said. “We consider the Geneva discussions the format that allows you to try to solve even the most difficult problems."
Philippe Lefort stressed that the agenda for the next round of talks was not discussed at today's meeting because it will be held in October, and the co-chairs will meet again with the participants of the talks before then.
Antti Turunen, chairman of the five-party meeting within the framework of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention and Incident Response (MPRI), expressed concern about the security situation in the Gal district. "Unfortunately, we do not at present have the opportunity to hold meetings within the MPRI framework, but I continue consultations on this issue, and I hope that such tools as the "hot line” and others will be used in order to avoid provocations and an escalation of tension in Gal district. I hope we shall soon be able to start work within the MPRI format," said the UN representative.
He appealed to all participants in the MPRI to do everything possible to avoid aggravating the situation.
Foreign Minister Viacheslav Chirikba expressed interest in resuming the work of the MPRI, which has shown its usefulness. "There really was a substantive discussion of the security situation in the region. The participants were the relevant people who were able as professionals to discuss the situation and exchange views. Nevertheless, we cannot retreat from our position on the person of the head of the EU observer mission, Andrzej Tyszkiewicz. We are looking for compromises," said Viacheslav Chirikba.
Commenting on UN General Assembly resolution adopted in early July, which is perceived extremely negatively in Abkhazia, Philippe Lefort said it was a routine, annual resolution based on international law. "We know the Abkhazians’ attitude to this document. We think one should not react over-emotionally to such events. The political debates take place in New York. In Geneva, we discuss the specific issues of refugees and displaced persons," said co-chairman representing the European Union.